VICTIMS: District Attorney Pursues Death Penalty Despite Wishes of Murder Victims’ Families

The mothers of two teenagers who were killed in California are pleading with the District Attorney to refrain from seeking the death penalty against the man accused of the crimes. Leah Sherzer said her daughter Bodhi (pictured) was an adherent of the teachings of Gandhi, who advocated non-violence. She said “Bodhi believed that the death penalty was wrong and that she would not want her case to be tried as a death penalty case.” Pam Thompson, the mother of the other teenager killed at the same time, said her son did not believe in capital punishment and neither does she. She said it does not allow families any real closure. Nevertheless, the D.A. is persisting in seeking a death sentence. Sherzer responded, “I feel about as powerless as you can get…This is not Bodhi’s wish. I can’t sit back and let her be silent on this… Bodhi stuck to her guns throughout her life. She’s dead, but she’s not silent on this. I am speaking for her.”

(R. Howes, “Mothers of slain teens don’t want death penalty,” Victorville Daily Press, August 18, 2013). See Victims and New Voices. Listen to DPIC’s podcast on Victims.