Vicki Schieber and Carolyn Leming on Friday had a powerful piece in the Gazette (a Maryland newspaper):
Vicki, lost a beautiful daughter — killed in a brutal rape and murder that ripped her away in the prime of her life. The possibility of a death sentence in the case threatened to keep the family in limbo for decades, reliving the crime again and again with every appeal. Carolyn’s son, Ray Krone, spent nearly four years on death row in Arizona — and a total of 10 years in prison — after being convicted of murder in 1991. Ray had been a model youth, had spent seven years in the Air Force and had never been in trouble.
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Separately, our stories are a stark reminder that the system has failed. But together, our stories prove that it can never be fixed. For every reform designed to protect people like Carolyn’s son, we add another year or decade of pain and waiting for victims’ families like Vicki’s. Victims need justice to be swift — but due process takes time, and when a life is on the line there is simply no room for error or hastiness.
For these reasons, more people and lawmakers around the country are coming to understand that these problems are insoluble. In just the last few weeks, committees in Nebraska and Colorado passed bills to repeal the death penalty. A New Jersey commission of law enforcement and victims has recommended the same.
We hope Maryland will also repeal its death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.