Don't Kill in Our Names

Families of Murder Victims Speak Out Against the Death Penalty

A book by Rachel King

Nancy and Richard Langert were murdered in their home by a teenage intruder. Nancy was pregnant with their first child.
Photo provided by the family


Subject: Sociology/
Criminology/Public Policy/
Cultural Studies
ISBN 0-8135-3182-9
Cloth: 304 pp.

All book royalties go to:
Murder Victims' Families
for Human Rights
Journey of Hope…
From Violence to Healing

Gripping stories of people who have lost a loved one to murder and oppose the death penalty.


Review by Vanessa Bush in
Booklist -Feb. 1, 2003

Rachel King, a lawyer and anti-death-penalty lobbyist, spent more than a year interviewing people who lost family members to murder but managed to forgive the killers and oppose the death penalty. Contrary to widely broadcast images of the families of murder victims supporting the death penalty, these people have publicly declared their opposition, provoking anger in their families and among prosecutors in their own words, the interview subjects recall the circumstances of the murder, memories of their loved ones, and their personal journeys to forgiveness of the murderers and their own public stance against capital punishment.

King puts into context the controversy surrounding the death penalty, including the Illinois moratorium brought about by investigations exonerating 13 death-row inmates. These are heart-wrenching stories that tell of chilling encounters with murderers and kidnappers and heart-breaking struggles with other family members. King effectively explores both the personal and the public aspects of this controversial social issue and relates how a project focused on the death penalty evolved into an examination of forgiveness and healing in the wake of family tragedy.


All royalties go to: Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights
and Journey of Hope…From Violence to Healing.
Author Rachel King, at the time of her death, Aug. 25, 2008, was a lawyer on staff of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and former anti-death penalty organizer for American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project.
Order online her books Don't Kill in Our Names and
Capital Consequences: Families of the Condemned Tell Their Stories
Read Rachel's articles and 2007 novel, Tales of the District free online!
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See Rachel King video interview