ANDOVER, Massachusetts)-The family of Colleen Ritzer today issued the following statement in response to a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that allows youths convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison the opportunity for parole. The family learned of the ruling on Christmas Eve.
“The Ritzer family feels a deep sense of betrayal and anguish with the recent decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that provides more rights to those youths convicted of horrible and heinous crimes than victims and their families. While these convicted murderers are now provided a second chance through the possibility of parole, victims slain at the hands of ‘youthful offenders’, possibly even our precious daughter Colleen, will be victimized again and again.
Our daughter and sister Colleen was taken in a cruel manner; we are now forced to endure a tremendous loss for life while her likely attacker will be afforded the opportunity for parole if convicted. There will never be ‘parole’ for our family’s life sentence without Colleen.
If the individual charged with her horrific murder is convicted and sentenced to life in prison, he must never, ever have an opportunity for parole. Paroling such violent offenders would be more cruel and unusual punishment to victims’ families and loved ones.
This decision should not be applauded, rather overturned as an act of justice and humanity to victims of violent crimes and their families.”