by Cliff Judy (WICHITA, Kan.)
As a Kansas Senate committee plans to talk about abolishing the death penalty on Thursday, families of capital murder victims say it's the system that needs to change...not the punishment.
Eyewitness News talked to three families of recent capital murder victims.
Brian and Cindy Sanderholm's daughter Jodi was killed in January 2007, and her killer, Justin Thurber, received the death penalty. Chelsea Brooks died in June 2006, but all of the three men charged with her capital murder received life in prison. Rachel Dennis disappeared in March 2007, and her family and prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty. Last year, Christopher Lowrance was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life.
All three of the families tell Eyewintess News they're not buying the idea abolishing the death penalty would save the state money. Senator Carolyn McGinn sponsored the bill saying non-death penalty cases cost an average of $460,000 less than each capital murder trial.