Wednesday, June 28, 2006

One woman's journey

Out in California, the Ventura Star became the latest newspaper to call for abolition of the death penalty. After the newspaper's editorial appeared, a number of people submitted supportive letters to the editor. Among them was this Journey of Hope member:

Journey offers hope

Re: your June 22 editorial, "Time to end death penalty":

This is an editorial long overdue. In my opinion, the execution of only one innocent person is enough to get rid of the death penalty everywhere.

As the mother of a murder victim, I felt I had to practice what I preach and joined a group of people in Texas, who, with the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, went on a Journey of Hope "From Violence to Reconciliation," a 17-day trip that started in Houston with a quiet vigil in front of the prison in Huntsville where executions take place.

These people came from many states, from Hawaii to Alaska, California to Massachusetts, and states in between. The group consisted of parents of murder victims, relatives of people on death row, mothers of executed victims and men who had spent many years on death row before finally being exonerated.

We had the opportunity to tell our stories in churches, high schools, colleges and universities, wherever we were invited, including speaking in front of the College of Law in Austin.

The reception we received from all, especially the young people, was very gratifying, especially when they acknowledged it by coming to give you a hug and thanking you for coming. Our journey ended in Austin, where we met with the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
There will be another journey in Virginia this October, and, if at all possible, I hope to be there. I cannot think of a more worthwhile project for myself at this time of my life.

Elvira Ramirez Crutcher

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