Source: (2006) PhD Dissertation. Graduate College of Oklahoma State University.

The goal of this project was to explore the sentiments of murdered victims’ families where the offender received the death penalty. Specifically the research aimed to: (1) examine the experiences of murdered victims’ families with the criminal justice system. In particular, the questions focused on (a) whether there was a sense of inclusion or exclusion by the system, (b) if the family members have, or believe they will have, a sense of closure or finality due to the proceedings from the case, and (c) if there is an overall satisfaction with the criminal justice system and their processes; and (2) examine how these experiences with the criminal justice system shape family members’ views of the death penalty. This is important because within the United States there is a growing debate about whether or not capital punishment should be ruled unconstitutional across every state. One aspect that is continually ignored is the victims’ families’ opinions about this topic. (excerpt)