Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation (MVFR) was founded in 1976 in response to the reinstatement of capital punishment in the United States that year. The founding members were people who had lost loved ones to murder and were tired of being told the death penalty was the appropriate answer to their pain. Their goal was to ensure that victims’ families’ opposition to the death penalty was voiced and the many reasons (link to “Why we oppose the death penalty”) for victim opposition to the death penalty were heard by the media, the public, legislators, district attorneys and other elected officials and policymakers.
For more than 30 years, MVFR, the longest-operating organization of murder victims’ family members in opposition to capital punishment, has raised voices in many successful abolition efforts across the country such as New Mexico, New Jersey, Illinois, and most recently, Connecticut, where capital punishment was abolished in April of 2012. Our members have also worked in states where partner abolition organizationsare influencing the death penalty conversation and reforming broken capital systems – like Texas and North Carolina.
Over the years our members’ voices have been crucial to helping people understand that not only are there people who have lost loved ones to murder and also oppose the
death penalty but that the capital punishment system doesn’t meet the needs of family members.