Renny Cushing is the founder
and Executive Director of Murder Victims Families for Human Rights. His
fathers murder in 1988 has shaped his work as an advocate for crime
victims and as an opponent of capital punishment.
victim-abolitionist Renny has been a pioneer in the effort to bridge death
penalty abolition groups and the victims rights movement. He travels throughout
the U.S. and the world speaking with and on behalf of victims who oppose capital
He has testified before the U.S. Congress and several
state legislatures on victims issues and the death penalty, articulating
policies that promote violence prevention, meet the needs of crime victims, and
end state killings. He has written and lectured extensively and is the co-author
of Dignity Denied: The Experience of Murder Victims' Family Members Who Oppose
the Death Penalty, and I Dont Want Another Kid to Die, a
collection of homicide family members' voices against the juvenile death
penalty. He also appears, along with many other MVFHR founding members, in
Not In Our Name, a collection of profiles of murder victims families who
A lifelong social justice
activist, Renny has been a Justice of the Peace for the past 25 years. He served
two terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, where he was involved
in victims issues and sponsored a measure that would have abolished the death
penalty in that state. Renny wrote the Whistleblowers Protection Act, a
groundbreaking law providing assistance to victims of domestic violence. He also
supported the passage of laws establishing a victims bill of rights, victims
advocate programs, and a victims compensation fund. In 2001, as plaintiff in
Cushing v. McLaughlin, he was successful in a landmark state court case
brought to enforce New Hampshires Victims Bill of Rights law.
He has counseled victims
families and supported them during trials, hearings and executions. He also
helps the families of the condemned learn to survive their particular traumas.
His work with lawyers, corrections and law enforcement personnel, and prison
inmates helps them understand the victim experience and become more sensitive
to victims needs. He is a trained facilitator for dialog between offenders and
victims, and is part of a prison-based Victim-Offender Dialog Program.
He serves on the board of
directors of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, where he is
vice-chair, the board of the American Society of Victimology, and the
steering committee of the World Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. He is a
member of National Organization for Victim Assistance, the U..S Human Rights
Network, Amnesty International, Fight Crime Invest In Kids, Parents of Murdered
Children, and the National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981.
Breaking the Cycle of Violence from Amnesty Now, 1999
Forgiving the Unforgivable, the story of the murder of
Robert Cushing, Sr.
Not in Our Name,
homicide survivors Renny Cushing and Bud Welch speak out against the death
penalty at Harvard University, 1999