CONTACT: Lois Seeligsohn 856‑854‑3182 (days and evenings) or Mr. Lorry Post 609-884-7624


Murder Victim's Father Urges Lawmakers: Scrap Death Penalty for Life without Parole


TRENTON : In testimony before the State Assembly Budget Committee yesterday (Wed. Mar. 8), a murder victim's father urged lawmakers to replace capital punishment with sentences of life, without possibility of parole.

            "Death sentences are substantially more costly than life sentences," said Lorry Post, of Cape May. "We need to use limited resources more effectively to aid and reduce the number of victims."

            Post is New Jersey Coordinator of Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation (MVFR), a national organization of 5,000 loved ones of murder victims and those who have been executed. Post said he spoke for MVFR, and his daughter, Lisa, who was murdered in 1989. Post said MVFR advocates programs to help victims' families rebuild their lives, rather than seek vengeance.

            "Statistics demonstrate that capital punishment costs are at least double those of life sentences," Post said. "Capital trials are longer, costlier and more complex than non-capital trials. And, because opposition to the death penalty is growing, it can take weeks to find a jury of people willing to impose capital punishment." Post recommended that money saved by instituting life without possibility of parole be divided between crime prevention and rehabilitation programs and aid to victims of violent crime.

            Death penalty proponents support reducing the number of appeals to hasten the process and cut costs. But Post, who also is a founding member of New Jerseyans for a Death Penalty Moratorium, contends that would significantly increase the risk of executing innocent persons. To date, 114 innocent death row inmates have been exonerated, many days or even hours from execution.

            "Some discoveries of innocence are not made for years," Post said. "No American wants to risk killing an innocent person. We must insure justice, while we protect society."

            New Jersey sought the death penalty some 400 times since it was re-enacted here in 1982 and sixty death sentences were handed down. Seventy percent of all capital sentences here are overturned for error.