Families ask for help to end death penalty

Members of the group Murder Victims’ Family Members for Reconciliation are asking opponents of the death penalty to support the work of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (KCADP).

The group is offering a challenge grant of $1,640 to encourage donations to the coalition.

Ben Griffith, a member of the victims’ group and secretary of the KCADP board, along with seven other group members, issued the challenge today, Sept. 17. They will match donations made to the coalition, up to $1,640.

Griffith writes in an appeal letter on behalf of the group, “Each of us has lost a loved one too soon and tragically at the hands of another person. But we do not want to be complicit in the taking of another life. And so, like you, we want the Kentucky State Legislature to repeal the death penalty as a sentencing option.”

The letter concludes, “As the surviving family members of murder victims and as Kentuckians, we want to send a message that not only will we not stand by as human beings are murdered by the state in our name, but we will commit our money and time to getting the death penalty repealed.”

Father Patrick Delahanty, chairman of the KCADP and a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, said in a news release that he’s impressed by the challenge.

“To have victim family members so convinced that the use of the death penalty is harmful to them, that they are willing to help fund efforts to repeal the death penalty and challenge others to help is very exciting,” said Father Delahanty.

“This matching grant challenge demonstrates how necessary it is that the death penalty be abolished so prosecutors will stop harming family members and wasting taxpayer dollars by seeking death sentences,” he said.

In addition to Griffith, the other donors are Patricia Griffith, Ray Schweri, Maria Hines, Sellus Wilder, Ruth Lowe, Joyce Frazier and Reba Rye.

For more information or to make a donation, visit kcadp.org.

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