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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Barbara Lewis, Wilmington DE

Barbara Lewis has lost a niece, nephew, and an uncle to murder. Her son, Robert, is on death row in Delaware for a shooting the he maintains occurred accidentally during a domestic dispute. None of the defense attorneys assigned to represent him ever visited the scene of the crime to investigate his claim. Barbara is a co-founder of BECAUSE LOVE ALLOWS COMPASSION, a Delaware support group for victims’ families and families of Death Row inmates.

Reprinted with permission from Not In Our Name: Murder Victims Families Speak Out Against the Death Penalty, a publication of Murder Victims Families For Reconciliation, Barbara Hood & Rachel King, Editors; MVFR


MVFR board member 1997-2000


"My family has lost several members to unexpected violence. Somehow, we were always able to bury our dead and find a way to keep going. Yet nothing we experienced prepared me for having a son on Death Row, unfairly convicted of capital murder. With the death penalty, you feel such agony knowing that people you trust, people you work with and live next door to, think it’s fine to take the life of your kin. Probably the most hurtful thing was when the victim’s mother refused to talk to me at my son’s trial. Until then, the two of us had been able to share our hurt, pain, and anger. But while in the presence of her prosecutors, she would look straight ahead when I tried to approach her. One of my great hopes is that we can communicate again someday and overcome the wall of hatred that was built between us. I also hope that our communities can learn to accept that killing is a tragedy on all sides. There is never just one set of victims."