Friday, December 29, 2006

Creating more victims: Part Seven

We're back a day late because of some technical problems! Today we resume our series, based on the groundbreaking report Creating More Victims: How Executions Hurt the Families Left Behind. This series was prepared with the assistance of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights and is running in conjunction with the holiday season. A special thank you to Susannah Sheffer who made all of this possible!

For fourteen years, Stanley Faulder’s Canadian family was unaware that they had a relative on death row in the United States. “All we knew was that he had disappeared,” explains Barbara Allen, Faulder’s niece. “He thought we knew where he was but didn’t want to have anything to do with him. When we finally found out, we were relieved he was alive but overwhelmed by the sadness and gravity of the situation. I had given very little thought to the death penalty before this. It’s just not part of the social conscience of Canada. I was aware that it occurred in the U.S., but never in my wildest dreams did I think my family would be involved.”

Barbara’s sons were 8 and 11 when the family first learned that a relative had been sentenced to death. “They didn’t know him, but they knew he was family,” says Barbara. Faulder was executed in Texas in 1999, and Barbara’s younger son Warren, by that time 16 years old, had a particularly hard time with it.

“He started to use drugs quite seriously,” Barbara recalls, “and he certainly had other issues going on in his life besides this one, but right at this time he got a tattoo on his leg that had Stan’s initials encircled by flames. The execution had more of an impact on him than I had known.”

To read Creating More Victims: How Executions Hurt the Families Left Behind, go here, scroll down to near the bottom of the front page of the web site, and click on the report.

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