Thursday, April 26, 2007

Families Of Murder Victims Oppose Death Penalty

Thursday, Apr 26, 2007 - 03:38 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. -- With executions on hold, some family members of murder victims are speaking out against the death penalty in an effort to get it abolished in North Carolina.

A judge put several executions on hold after the state medical board threatened to punish doctors who participate in the procedure.

And legislation is being discussed in the General Assembly to grant doctors immunity from discipline.

"As long as we support executions in our state, we're using the same tactics that the murderers are using," said Charisse Coleman, whose brother was murdered.

All of these family members lost loved ones to murder or execution yet they oppose the death penalty. They're part of the national organization "Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation."

"All of that closure you thought you were gonna feel when the person was killed, when the person was put to death, isn't there," said Georgi Fisher, whose sister was murdered in 1996. "You still have to experience the emotions. You still have to process the grief."

The Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation says the death penalty actually dishonors their loved ones who were killed and that's why they want to get rid of it.

And they believe they can with a de facto death penalty moratorium in effect. But over the years other victims' families have strongly disagreed. Vivian Holliday's son was murdered nearly seven years ago.

"He should face the ultimate penalty for the situation and I don't feel anything for him just like he didn't feel anything for my son as well," Holliday said.

Wayne Uber's brother was murdered in Florida back in 1995. The suspect is in prison but not on death row.

"I have no guarantee the man who murdered my brother won't hurt another human being while he's incarcerated," Uber said.

There are currently 166 offenders on North Carolina's death row.

The organization says it is focusing on getting rid of the death penalty in four states: North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and California..

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