CCV Releases Booklet of Testimonials Against the Death Penalty
The people you will meet in this booklet have endured unimaginable, heartbreaking loss: the murder of a child, a parent, a sibling, a friend. Despite all efforts, their wounds may never entirely heal. Yet they choose to speak. They choose to raise their voices, individually and collectively against the death penalty and to share their most personal and painful stories of loss. Why? Because all too often, the loved ones of murder victims find that other people purport to speak for them, while their own voices are stilled. They are invoked as a reason to support the death penalty because it is assumed that all victims’ families want executions. Yet, for so many victims’ survivors — like those featured in this booklet — the death penalty solves nothing and can even perpetuate their suffering.
California Crime Victims for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is a coalition of families, friends, and loved ones of murder victims who oppose the death penalty. The coalition supports families, friends, and loved ones in telling their stories and being heard. CCV educates the public about alternatives to the death penalty and provides information, resources, and support to families regardless of their views on the death penalty or whether the perpetrator has been apprehended.
Families and loved ones of murder victims support alternatives to the death penalty for many reasons, including:
- The death penalty process is a traumatizing experience for families, often requiring them to relive the pain and suffering of the death of their loved one for many years. Life without parole provides certain punishment without the endless reopening of wounds.
- Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on the death penalty each year. If we replace the death penalty with life without parole, millions of dollars could be spent on violence-prevention efforts, solving unsolved cases, and increasing victim services.
- The death penalty places the focus on the legal consequences, not the human consequences. Attention is directed on the crime and the accused, instead of where it belongs — on the family and loved ones of the victim and on the community. Life without parole punishes the criminal without putting him or her in the headlines.