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Family members of death row inmates: another group of victims

In “Killers’ Families Left to Confront Fear and Shame” the New York Times examines the plight of another innocent group of crime victims—the family members of the guilty.

In a society where headlines of violence are almost commonplace, the families of the perpetrators are often unknown and largely unheard from. But now some relatives have decided to share their stories. In interviews with members of numerous families of varying social and economic status, siblings, parents, partners, cousins and children of convicted killers recounted the hardships they have experienced in the years since their relatives’ crimes.

In the flash of a horrifying moment, they said, their lives had become a vortex of shame, anger and guilt. Most said they were overwhelmed by the blame and ostracism they had received for crimes they had no part in.

KCADP’s YouTube channel features four moving testimonials from innocent men and women waiting for Kentucky to kill their sons. What their loved ones were found guilty of is terrible and inexcusable and deserving of punishment. But with life in jail without parole a sentencing option in Kentucky, there’s no reason for the state to create a special class of family members of murder victims.

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