Sandy Friend has this op-ed in the Sacramento Bee:
Michael Lyons was my 8-year-old angel of a son. He was sweet, loved his family and had a smile that would melt a glacier. When I think of that smile, it eases my heart for only so long because I will grieve over his loss for the rest of my life.
Michael died an unimaginable death. He endured 70 purposeful, nonlethal stab wounds to his little body. He was sodomized viciously. After more than 10 hours of torture, Michael's throat was slit, his body dumped into a river.
Every night I pray that no mother should be forced to experience my lifetime of anguish since Michael was murdered. Though I had to hear the grisly description again of how a vicious repeat offender tortured and murdered my son in court, I was relieved that justice was served when a jury found Michael's killer guilty and sentenced him to death.
While the emotional wounds never heal, there are better days than others.
But my healing has been ripped apart by the prospect that Michael's killer won't see justice if Proposition 34 passes this November, which would repeal California's voter-imposed system of capital punishment.
It is beyond insulting that liberal special interest groups, including the ACLU, believe my son's killer deserves leniency and compassion. Proponents of Proposition 34, including The Bee's editorial board, patronize victims' families by telling us they have empathy for our suffering while hiding behind specious claims to justify giving the most vicious criminals a lifetime of health care and housing, benefits that too many middle-class families cannot afford.
* * *When you vote on Proposition 34 this November, ask yourself what you would want if it was your child who was brutally raped, tortured and murdered. Please stand up for victims and reserve the death penalty for California's worst killers.