On December 16, 2011, the Emporia Gazette published a column by Bob Grover entitled, “Abolish the death penalty in Kansas” which outlined many reasons that the death penalty in Kansas should be replaced with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Grover approaches this topic from a variety of angles, including cost, deterrence, fairness, and innocence. But perhaps the most compelling argument Grover makes considers the needs of family members of homicide victims. He quotes Stan Bohn of North Newton, KS:
Perhaps forgiveness is the most compelling reason for abolishing the death penalty. My sister was raped and murdered, a shocking experience for us. Our family never had a chance to meet the murderer but wanted to in order to help the long slow healing process. None of us wanted the execution kind of ‘closure’ that can’t compensate the loss and only hinders real healing that might happen in victim-criminal talks. It’s time to end death penalty vengeance and consider the deeper healing that the victims need.