Message from the ED
Board of Directors
Death Penalty Info.
News and Events
Victims' Stories
Photo Gallery
No Silence, No Shame
Contact MVFHR

Visit the
Blog for
Frequent Updates


Download MVFHR's handout for speaking events


Download MVFHR's Brochure



Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA  02140




MVFHR's Inaugural Event

Inaugural Event Volume I Volume II Journey of Hope Taiwan

Press Release of the MVFHR Launch on December 10, 200

MVFHR's inaugural event was held on December 10, 2004, International Human Rights Day.  Many MVFHR members and friends attended and the event was very well covered by national and international media.  The meeting was held on the top floor of the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City with a clear view of the United Nations Building across the way.

After getting acquainted, the event began with welcomes by Executive Director, Renny Cushing, Diane Rust-Tierney of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Rachel King of the ACLU, and others. 

Each present member of the organizing board then spoke of what brought them to oppose the death penalty and signed the Founders' Pledge which reads as follows:

"In honor and memory of our family members taken from us by homicide,
the undersigned join together to form
Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights.

In the name of victims we pledge to work to end the death penalty in all countries of the world."

Other activities for MVFHR members that day included its first in-person meeting of the organizing board and an evening discussion at the New York Society for Ethical Culture sponsored by New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty.

The photos below were taken on that historic day.

Bill Pelke, founder of the Journey of Hope,
and Bill Babbitt, brother of Manny Babbitt,
executed 1999.

Founding Members, Bill Pelke, Delia Flores,
and Bud Welch, father of Julie Marie Welch,
killed in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Toshi Kazama, creator of the photo-documentary,
Youth on Death Row, addressing the group

Bud Welch speaking at the evening
event sponsored by
New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty

Colleen Kelly of September Eleventh
Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

speaking with Bud Welch

David Kaczynski, Executive Director of
New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty
and brother of the "UnaBomber," speaking with
 Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel
Rosenberg, executed in 1953.

Founding Members Rev. Walt Everett, father of
Scott Everett, murdered in 1987, Susannah Sheffer,
Toshi Kazama, Bud Welch, and Vicki Schieber,
mother of Shannon Schieber, murdered in 1998

Robert Meeropol,
MVFHR Executive Director Renny Cushing,
David Kaczynski, and Bud Welch

Bud Welch, Robert Meeropol,
Bill Pelke, and Bill Babbitt at
MVFHR's first board meeting.


Robert Meeropol and Renny Cushing
seated beneath Dag Hammarksjold's quote
"The greatest prayer of man asks not for
victory but for peace."

MVFHR's first historical document.
The Founders Pledge signed by those
in attendance on December 10, 2004

Inaugural Event Volume I Volume II Journey of Hope Taiwan