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Sunday, November 18, 2018

The survivors


Atlanta Journal
October 15, 1994
 
    Many arguments against the death penalty are well-known: It does not deter murderers; it costs more than life imprisonment; it is racially inequitable in practice; it is barbaric.
    But those arguments are rejected by many people as too squeamish.  Stop caring so much about the criminal, they say.  Think about the victims and their poor families.
    Indeed.  That is why a group called Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation brings a different kind of argument against capital punishment.  A small group of members has been visiting churches and schools across Georgia for several weeks in what they call a “Journey of Hope.”
    Their message is that the impersonal state’s carrying-out of its most awful duty – the taking of a human life – should be weighed against the prayers, anger, grief and costly reconciliation that they have personally experienced.  Murder is a crime against the state, but it is also a crime against people, and these people need to be listened to.