Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation member calls for end to death penalty
by Jamie McDaniel
The night when PJALS hosted Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation member Pat McCoy proved to be an evening of powerful words which instilled the will to fight for the abolition of the death penalty in the community.
Pat McCoy invited us into his past to be able to see how he, as the loved one of someone who has been murdered, really feels about use of capital punishment on their perpetrators. His story having come out of Spokane made his message even more powerful because it hit literally so close to home. Pat’s sister was murdered in Spokane in 1974, a time when the death penalty was not legal in Washington.
Pat expresses that there is not a single member of his family that wishes the revenge, which the law thinks we all desire, was sought. He said, “We were satisfied that he was convicted and confined.” He expressed to us the importance of closure for the family, which is not done when a murder is put to death, but when the case itself is over so that the family can behind the healing process. With the help of Jason Ortiz, anot
her member of Murder Victim’s Families’ for Reconciliation, the audience was taught about the importance of what the death penalty really means in our society; both fiscally and personally.