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Murder victims’ families for reconciliation: story-telling for healing, as a witness, and in public policy

Kay, Judith W.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In, Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft editors, “Handbook of Restorative Justice” A Global Perspective. London and New York: Routledge. Taylor & Francis Group pp.230-243

This chapter explains why telling stories can be both psychologically healing and politically necessary for murder victims’ family members who oppose the death penalty. After introducing a survivor group committed to death penalty abolition, it shows how reframed narratives about the deceased and/or the perpetrator inform some survivors’ opposition to the death penalty. The chapter examines the contested role of personal narratives in the community, the victim rights movement, the criminal justice system, and public policy, and how certain contexts can deprive narrative of most of its transformative power. (excerpt)


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