Elected officials, the media and even the general public think they know how family members of murder victims feel about the death penalty. Many assume that our community – Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation – would passionately support efforts to restart the death penalty in North Carolina. But nothing could be further from the truth.
MVFR opposes efforts by Rep. Leo Daughtry that would make it easier to accomplish an execution in this state. The death penalty process is traumatic for families. It requires us to relive the suffering of our loved one, over and over again, for many years, on the news, in the courts and in the court of public opinion.
The millions of dollars spent on the death penalty every year could be better used investigating cold cases, increasing victim services, preventing violence or teaching the power of reconciliation.
We oppose the North Carolina bill, and all efforts to make capital punishment seem more benign and acceptable – because it isn’t.
There are human consequences, and no group knows that better than victim family members. Daughtry’s bill wants to keep executions secret. We want to be very open about our position. We are the ones who’ve been harmed. When it comes to the death penalty, we say, “No. Not in our names.”
Vice chair, Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation Board