Wednesday, March 09, 2016

95% Death Penalty Support by Capital Murder Survivors

95% Death Penalty Support by Loved Ones of Capital Murder Victims
Dudley Sharp

(March 2015) Poll by Pennsylvania Office of the Victim Advocate found:

90% of victims' family members support the death penalty. 94% said the imposed death sentence should be carried out. (1)

Any state could, easily, do the same poll. I hope they do.

I don't know if this was a poll of all crime victims and their survivors or only death penalty eligible cases, which would, likely, produce the highest support.

Oklahoma City Bombing case and the 9/11 terrorism attacks:

 Oklahoma City Bombing case:

I am aware of 4 murder victim survivors who opposed Timothy McVeigh's execution.

That is 4 out of 1680 (10 times 168 murder victims) (2), or 0.2% opposed to execution.

Way under 5%, which would require 84 death penalty opponents, using my method (2).

"Survivors and family members took solace in McVeigh's death. Janice Smith, whose 46-year-old brother, Lanny Scroggins, died in the bombing, prayed with her children at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, then left after getting word that McVeigh was dead. ``It's over,'' she said. ``We don't have to continue with him anymore.'' Earlier, a silent vigil began without fanfare -- 168 minutes, one minute for each victim killed in the tragedy."
"McVeigh's execution was witnessed by 10 survivors and victims' relatives from the bombing . . .  Meanwhile, about 600 miles away, an estimated 300 people gathered . . . to watch the execution unfold on a large video screen."

McVeigh wrote that taking 168 lives, including those of 19 children, was a "legit tactic."  

quotes from The Lamp of Hope (Chicago Tribune), June 11 2001, 8:01 AM CDT, TERRE HAUTE, Ind. 


NOTE:  Anti death penalty activist Bud Welck, whose daughter Julie was murdered in the OKC bombing has stated  " . . . that the execution of Timothy McVeigh only ‘‘revictimized’’ the families of his victims."  and that " . . . a poll taken in Oklahoma City showed that 85 percent of the survivors wanted the death penalty for Timothy McVeigh. But several years later the figure dropped to nearly half, and now many of those who supported the execution have come to believe it was a mistake."

For years , I have been trying find any evidence that such statements were true, from Mr. Welch, via both phone messages and emails to him and through the staff at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.  Never has he replied, nor supplied any evidence, if it exists, nor have any of my internet searches turned up anything which confirmed Mr. Welch's claims.

9/11 terrorism attacks:

I am aware of 3 of the nearly 30,000 9/11 murder victim's loved ones who opposed either Bin Laden's death or those killed in drone strikes who were connected to 9/11 or who have voiced any opposition to a death penalty for any other 9/11 conspirators.

That is 0.01% opposed.

5% would be 1500.  I have only found 3.


Sadly, these two mass murders were so huge, it presented this opportunity to see what developed with a media that is always interested to find and publicize murder victim survivors who oppose the death penalty, specifically, in death penalty eligible cases.

When there are death penalty opponents whose loved ones were murdered in highly publicized cases,  the media jumps all over them.

I do my own google search for them, periodically, as well as inquire within the crime victim community.

When I get to 84 and 1500, respectively, I will re calculate. Likely, that will not be necessary.

1)"Widow of slain policeman adamant in support of death penalty',, December 13, 2015

2) I multiplied every murder victim times 10 to arrive at the number of close loved ones per murder victim.