sister Nancy Bishop Langert was shot to death along with her husband, Richard
Langert, and their unborn child in suburban Chicago in 1990. Their killer was 16
years old at the time and a local politician running for re-election proposed
lowering the age of death penalty eligibility in Illinois to 16 to honor your
Jennifer vowed to oppose him
publicly if her sisters murder was used as the rationale for this proposal.
Nancy loved children and this is not what she would have wanted, she says.
Since that time she has worked to end the death penalty both in Illinois and
She has served on the
board of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty, has been the state
president for the Million Mom March /Brady Campaign and volunteers with the
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. She was a featured speaker on the
steps of the U.S. Capital for the Halt the Assault Million Mom March on Mothers
Day 2004. She has testified before
the Illinois Governors
Commission on Capital Punishment and in
death penalty clemency hearings before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. She
has spoken before state legislative committees and the Chicago City Council on
issues of gun violence, crime prevention, and criminal justice reform.
She appeared in the
documentary on the death penalty, Too Flawed To Fix and was profiled in a
Chicago Tribune Magazine cover story. Her story and abolition work are
included in the book Dont Kill In Our Names by Rachel King. Jennifer, who
first visited Illinois death row in 1994, is on a mercy committee for former
death row inmate Renaldo Hudson. She wrote the foreword for the recently
published book of prisoners essays on personal responsibility and
transformation entitled Lockdown Prison Heart.
Jennifer and her sister,
Jeanne Bishop, were co-recipients of the Brigid Award given by Concern Worldwide
in recognition of their reconciliation work. She has taught high school and
college for more than 20 years and has received several outstanding teacher
awards. She currently serves as the Field Director for Illinois and Minnesota
for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty
The Million Mom March - working
against gun violence