For October 3, 2008
Who: Members of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights (MVFHR) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Amanda Wilcox, mother of victim who was murdered by someone with mental illness
- Lois Robison, mother of mentally ill son who was executed in Texas
- Kim Crespi, mother of victims murdered by her husband, who suffers from mental illness
- Bill Babbitt, MVFHR board of directors, brother of mentally ill man who was executed
- Renny Cushing, MVFHR Executive Director
- Ron Honberg, NAMI Legal and Policy Director
- 20 families of victims and families of the executed from around the U.S.
What: Event marking the official launch of collaborative project between national organizations Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights and National Alliance on Mental Illness opposing the death penalty for persons with severe mental illness. Public testimony from families of victims killed by persons with severe mental illness and families of persons with severe mental illness who have been executed, followed by remembrance ceremony in which participants from around the U.S. will honor their loved ones lost to murder or state execution.
Why: Texas ranks 47th nationally in per capita spending in mental health care and 1st nationally in number of executions carried out during the modern era. MVFHR, a national organization of family members of murder victims and families of the executed, and NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families, chose Texas as the location to announce their new collaborative project in which victims’ families from around the U.S. will oppose death sentences for mentally ill offenders. Families of victims and families of the executed know the tragedy of murder, mental illness, and the death penalty first hand, and their testimony draws attention to a critically important issue in the death penalty debate and in the field of mental health.
When: Friday, October 3, 3:00-5:00 PM
Where: San Antonio, University of the Incarnate Word, Bonilla Science Hall auditorium, room 129, Hildebrande just west of the Broadway intersection