Victims Families

Statements from Murder Victims' Family Members

“Yes, our loved one was murdered. We want the truth about what happened, and we want the killer held accountable in a way that he can’t do it again. No amount of killing is going to bring our loved one back, and we certainly don’t want the state using our pain and suffering to justify another family losing their loved one — even if they are guilty.”

LaShawn Ajamu, Sister of murder victim James Nero and wife of death row exoneree Kwame Ajamu

“Given what I know now, I can no longer support Colorado’s broken death penalty system. What’s more, I will work to end it to ensure that our resources are better used and no family ever has to go through what my wife and I have endured.”

Bob Autobee, the father of slain Colorado corrections officer Eric Autobee (pictured)

“Our society is conflicted about the death penalty. I recognize and respect the diversity of opinions about capital punishment among survivors of murder victims. Unlike those of many death-penalty opponents, my views are victim-centered. My opposition is not rooted in what an execution does to a condemned prisoner but in what a system that embraces the ritual killing by government employees of an incapacitated prisoner does to me–to us, as individuals and as a society.”

Renny Cushing, son of murder victim Robert Cushing, brother-in-law of murder victim Stephen McRedmond, New Hampshire state representative, and founder of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights

“In honor of our daughter, my husband and I are committed to spending the remainder of our lives trying to seek not just the elimination of the death penalty, but meaningful change that truly serves the needs those of us who have survived the ultimate loss… . We could find no other recommendations that would provide greater good for more people than to repeal the death penalty and increase services for families of homicide victims.”

Vicki Schieber, mother of murder victim Shannon Schieber

“We also oppose the death penalty because it historically has been used in Mississippi and the South primarily against people of color for killing whites. Executing James’ killers will not help balance the scales. But sparing them may help to spark a dialogue that one day will lead to the elimination of capital punishment.”

- Barbara Anderson Young, sister of murder victim James Anderson