The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Women discuss, argue against death penalty

 

Virginia authorities executed Teresa Lewis at 9:13 p.m. EST Thursday night for the shooting deaths of her husband and stepson. Approximately 1,300 miles away at the same time, three women advocated against the death penalty in the Hughes-Trigg Forum.

 

“Really, should we be taking their lives? Should we be playing God? We don’t think so,” Delia Meyer said. “We just do not think that murder is the answer.”

 

Meyer, Melanie Hebert and Nancy Ward spoke to a packed room during the second program in the Death Penalty Matters series hosted by the Embrey Human Rights Program along with the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility.

 

All three women have had relatives on death row. All three women believe the death penalty should be abolished.

 

They explained how inmates live on death row and noted that many of their civil rights have been taken away. They argued for prison reforms and a move toward restorative justice, where inmates work to make amends and reintegrate themselves into society.

 

Hebert’s uncle, Spencer Goodman, was put to death in 2000. Her family became divided over his death sentence, with some relatives refusing to acknowledge Goodman.

 

“I want to tell you that for my family this has been a nightmare because 10 years later we’re still feeling the effects in my family,” she said. “We still are a family divided.”

 

Ward’s son Adam has been on death row for three years. Ward spoke of her disillusionment with the justice system and argued that it needs to be changed. She argued against having one judge making all the decisions and lawyers who are only in it for the money.

 

Meyer’s brother, Louis Perez, has been on death row for 10 years, accused of killing three of his friends in 1998. Meyer and her family argue that her brother is innocent and has been fighting for his exoneration.

 

“We will continue to fight, and hopefully bring my brother home,” she said.

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