Judy Kerr

Judy Kerr
Judy Kerr’s younger brother, Robert “Bob” Kerr, was murdered in Everett in 2003. A decade later, Bob’s murder remains a cold case. During the time of Bob’s death, the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office had its hands full, working its way through DNA evidence of the Green River killer cases and other “high-profile” capital cases. The Kerr family waited patiently for an investigation in Bob’s murder to get started, but that investigation never came. And in King County last December, the Sheriff’s Office announced that it would shut down its cold-case squad, due to lack of financial resources.
Bob’s murder was over 10 years ago and my family still waits for Bob’s killer to be identified, charged, prosecuted, or punished. Billions of dollars are wasted prosecuting capital cases while cold cases go unfunded and victims’ services are cut. I support life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty because it is justice that works for everyone.

Bob was an active guy who enjoyed the outdoors. His love for the mountains of the West Coast grew in California. I have many fond memories of his athletic antics jumping off ropes into the lake, water skiing, and generally being quicker than everybody in the neighborhood, no matter what he did. His ashes are scattered in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where he loved to ski and hike.

Bob’s murder was over 10 years ago, and my family still waits for his killer to be identified, charged, prosecuted, or punished. Billions of dollars are wasted prosecuting capital cases while cold cases go unfunded and victims’ services are cut. I support life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty because it is justice that works for everyone.

There is an excellent model of a trauma center for crime victims that has been established in San Francisco. There have been attempts to replicate this trauma service, which provides immediate crisis counseling and services to victims and survivors of crime. But as of yet, we still seem to prefer to waste money on the death penalty rather than spend money on healing. Replacing the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole is the alternative that makes sense for public safety, for victims, and for survivors.