Beyond Revenge: Most Crime Victims Prefer Rehabilitation to Harsh Punishment

We all know an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. But for Mothers for Justice and Equality, getting justice has never been about revenge. The Boston-based nonprofit was founded by Monalisa Smith, who lost her 18-year-old nephew, Eric Smith, to gun violence in 2010. Determined to end violence in their communities, the mothers who came together to form Mothers for Justice and Equality recognized early on that many of them had family members who were both perpetrators and victims. They recognized that they needed to take action into their own hands if they were to reduce community violence.

Needing answers to questions she had about her sister’s last moments alive, Chicago attorney Jeanne Bishop also took matters into her own hands. Over objections from her family, Bishop decided to write to and eventually to visit her sister’s killer, David Biro, in prison in Michigan. On April 7, 1990, Biro had killed Bishop’s sister, Nancy Langert, who was pregnant at the time, as well as Langert’s husband, Richard.

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