Kathryn Gaines, Rita Shoulders, Ruth Lowe and Victoria Cox all had someone in their family murdered but all believe that a death sentence for the killers would only deepen their personal wounds. Shoulders lost her sister to murder; Cox lost her brother; Lowe also lost her brother; and Gaines experienced the death of her eldest grandchild a year ago. All four women are members of St. Martin de Porres Church in West Louisville, Kentucky, and have participated in videos to relate their experienes. Ruth Lowe said of the man who killed her brother, “I’m learning to forgive. And even if I had the chance I wouldn’t want him executed. It would do nothing for me; it would do nothing for the rest of my family. To take his life would make no sense.” Kathryn Gaines said, “You cannot bring a life back by taking away another life. It hurts a whole family.” The videos of the four women’s stories can be found here. The women’s stories are also being told in a series of articles in The Record, a Catholic newspaper published in central Kentucky.

(M. McAllister, “Four women work against the death penalty,” July 28, 2011; “Women cling to faith despite tragedy,” August 4, 2011; and “Women see values as cure for violence,” August 11, 2011 in The Record; photo from the Archdiocese of Louisville). See Victims, New Voices, and Religion. The videos were produced by Rev. Patrick Delahanty, the sacramental coordinator at St. Martin’s.