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The Death Penalty vs. Restorative Justice

Thumbnail image for Bess Klassen-Landis.jpgDavid Kaczynski agonizes when he says he'd drop everything to see his brother, Theodore (Ted), who is serving life in prison for killing and wounding people for nearly 18 years as the so-called "Unabomber." But so far, after nearly two decades, it hasn't happened.  On Sept. 21, in the Betty R. Tipton Room, Kaczynski and Bess Klassen-Landistold their stories in hope of raising awareness using what they call "The Restorative Justice Approach."

After a series of bombing incidents, David Kaczynski and his wife suspected Ted to be the person killing people and finally told the FBI. Their decision ended years of searching for the "Unabomber," the most wanted person in America.

Klassen-Landis, who was 13 years old when her mother was brutally raped and murdered, had to deal with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for 37 years.

Kaczynski and Klassen-Landis believe victims need to heal themselves rather than lining up with a criminal justice system that focuses on retribution.  "The system, especially the death penalty, doesn't prevent violent crimes from occurring again. More important, it does not restore the victim or the community, where many individuals indirectly affected are suffering," said Klassen-Landis. 

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