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Murder Victim’s Husband Says Witnessing Execution Of Her Killer Changed His Mind

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The survivor of a murder victim who witnessed the killer’s execution now says he has second thoughts about capital punishment. 

Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

In 2003, Joe Byrne of Springdale near Cincinnati was frustrated with an almost two decade saga of appeals after the conviction of David Brewer, a family friend, for raping and murdering Byrne’s wife Sherry in 1985. So he thought watching Brewer be executed would be the ending he needed. 

“I just wish I had the foresight to realize that this wasn’t going to solve my problem,” Byrne said. “I still think he deserved what he got, even to this day – he deserved it. At the same time, I needed help on dealing with what was going on.”

Byrne, who moved to New Jersey, is now working with Ohioans to Stop Executions to urge state lawmakers to adopt recommendations of a task force on the death penalty – specifically, to offer more help for the families of murder victims.

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