Trial Observer Tries To Abolish Capital Punishment



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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Justin Thurber learned his fate just days after a local lawmaker began a new push to do away with the death penalty. State Sen. Caroline McGinn has an unlikely ally in her fight, a local woman who lost loved one in a senseless murder.

“I’m sorry Jodi’s gone. But another death is not going to bring her back,” said Sue Norton.

Norton is an opponent of capital punishment and speaks from her own personal experience, saying that it doesn’t bring the resolution to a murder some might think it will.

In 2003, Sue’s father and step-mother were killed. After experiencing the emotions of losing her loved ones to murder, she befriended the convicted killer and eventually watched as his sentence was carried out in Oklahoma’s death chamber.

"Ask me and I will tell you because in 2003 the man that murdered my folks. My daddy and step mother were murdered and guess what I'm not a healed person,” said Norton.

Sue Norton sat through the Justin Thurber trial. She says she understands the hurt both the Sanderholm and Thurber families are feeling. She also says the death penalty verdict means more pain to come.

Norton will be testifying before a Senate committee later this month advocating the abolishment of the death penalty.

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