Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation (MVFR) calls for a moratorium on executions in Ohio.
Our hearts go out to the family of Joy Stewart, who was senselessly murdered in 1989. This family waited 24 years for the system to complete its broken process. Our hearts also go out to the family members of Dennis McGuire and others who witnessed his horrific and senseless death yesterday. Yesterday’s execution of Mr. McGuire prolonged and complicated the pain for many innocent people who have already been through the excessively long and painful process of a capital murder trial and appeals – a long and painful process that would have been avoided and resolved long ago had Mr. McGuire’s sentence been life without parole.
Too much time, talent and treasure is diverted to a process that delays justice and complicates the healing process for families and communities impacted by violence – and is only relevant for a fraction of the families harmed by murder. Meanwhile, thousands of murder victim family members in Ohio and across the country go without their most pressing and basic needs even being considered. We would do better to direct more resources to help law enforcement solve unsolved murders and bring more offenders to justice. We better serve victims’ families by making counseling more accessible, providing advocates who work for victims to keep them informed about investigations and judicial proceedings, and expanding financial compensation to help them with pressing needs like burial costs and work-time lost due to the murder.
There should be no more executions in Ohio unless death penalty proponents can demonstrate that it is the best way to make us safe and is the best way to address the needs of the thousands of murder victim family members across the state.
MVFR is an organization whose members include the families of murder victims who oppose the death penalty as well as the families of people who have been executed. We are a national organization with members across the country including in the state of Ohio. Our members have all experienced the trauma of having a loved one killed and believe strongly that executions are not the answer. Executions only add to the pain and violence in senselessly painful and violent situations while distracting attention and diverting resources from better answers.