The Heroic Work of Saving an Unpopular Life

My brother in court standing beside the prisoner (photo by a newspaper photographer)

In 1993, a mentally ill man murdered four people. Since his conviction in 1996, he has been on death row.

His legal journey is once again in the news. While many people across the nation are clamoring for his days on this earth to end, 17 years later he is still alive due to the efforts of a group of people committed to commuting his death sentence to life in prison without parole. Two of these people are attorneys on his legal team, my brother and my brother-in-law.

Each day that this prisoner has awakened to take another breath is the direct result of their battling against an entire culture focused on vengeance and sanctioned killing. When I contemplate the world’s heroes, these two are among them. I am honored beyond words to be in their family.

Update with good news:  The state abolished the death penalty through legislation. I could not be more proud of my family members who were leaders in making that happen.

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