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Saturday, April 04, 2020

Terri Steinberg

At the age of 20, Terri‘s son, Justin Wolfe, was falsely accused, convicted and sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. He was sent to Virginia’s death row in 2002, becoming their youngest resident, and has had several stays of execution, as well as 3 execution dates.

Two days after Justin was sentenced to death, Terri heard about a group protesting the death penalty at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC., and began her own journey to save Justin’s life. In 2003, Terri was invited to join the Journey in Ohio. Though apprehensive to travel with a group of 'strangers' to a place she had never been, she knew she had to go through every door that opened to her in order to save her son.  It was the best decision of her life.  

It is through the Journey of Hope in 2003 that she had her first opportunities to share her family's story, to try to make something good come from the pain that they have endured.  It is her hope that by sharing her son's story, she can make a difference in the lives of those who listen, to help young people realize that the decisions they make not only affect themselves but affect their families, and encourage them to make better decisions for themselves.   It is her hope to help our public leaders understand the collateral damage caused by the cycle of violence we call the death penalty and encourage a change in our laws to bring abolition of the death penalty.  It is by sharing their story that she is able to give purpose to the pain her family suffers by the cross they carry in the fight for their brother.  

Justin’s death sentence was vacated in 2011 however the fact that he remains in prison to this day continues the ongoing tragedy and failure of a broken system. Terri has traveled with the Journey all over the world, speaking out not only on behalf of Justin but for all of those still on death rows and the families that continue to suffer at the hands of a broken system.

Terri is a member of Virginians for Alternatives tot he Death Penalty, Catholic Mobilizing Network and a board member of the Journey of Hope, from Violence to Healing