"Tuesday's Focus" will feature the stories of:
- Murder victim's family members
- Death row exonorees
- Family members of those on death row
- Family members of those who have been executed
- Anti-death penalty activists
Today, as the first part of a continuing series, we feature the story of SueZann Bosler.
On December 22, 1986, SueZann Bosler and her father, Rev. Billy Bosler, were attacked in the church parsonage by an intruder. Rev. Bosler was stabbed 24 times. SueZann, in an effort to help him, was herself stabbed in the back and head and left for dead. While lying on the floor pretending to be dead, she heard the intruder ransack the house as she watched her father take his last breath.
As a Brethren minister, Rev. Bosler had been an opponent of capital punishment, and had once told SueZann that if he was ever murdered he would not want his killer to receive the death penalty. On her father's behalf, SueZann worked for 10 1/2 years to spare the life of his murderer, James Bernard Campbell. She voiced her opposition to the death penalty throughout three trials and two sentencings. Her efforts put her at stark odds with Florida prosecutors and judges, who at one point threatened her with contempt of court if she revealed her views to the jury considering Campbell's fate.
SueZann devoted many years to seeking commutation of Campbell's death sentence. On June 13, 1996, her efforts were successful and his sentence was commuted to three consecutive life terms. "Being able to point to him at that moment, and express my forgiveness, was like having a weight lifted from my shoulders," she recalls.
(The above was 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.
Links to SueZann’s Journey:
JOURNEY FROM ANGER TO FORGIVENESS: PEACE WITNESS
DEATH PENALTY FOES, VICTIMS THEMSELVES, PLEAD THEIR CASE: POST GAZETTE
FLORIDA RESIDENTS AMONG DEATH PENALTY FOES FASTING IN D.C.
DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS CALL FOR MORATORIUM
DAUGHTER THANKS JURY FOR SPARING HER FATHER'S KILLER
48 HOURS ONLINE STORE
FLORIDA MORATORIUM TOUR
MISSOURI JOURNEY OF HOPE...FROM VIOLENCE TO HEALING
SueZann Bosler Quote:
"My father's favorite hymn was 'Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let it Begin With Me. Those of us who work against the death penalty are working for peace."