The father of a corrections officer who was beaten to death deserves a chance to tell a jury why the prisoner accused of murder should be spared the death penalty.
Victims have the right to be heard, and jurors can be trusted to weigh the evidence and law in coming to their decision.
The issue came to light last week in the proceedings against Edward Montour, accused of killing Eric Autobee in 2002.
Prosecutors, typically victims' advocates, found themselves in the position of asking a judge not to allow Bob Autobee, father of the slain guard, to tell jurors during the sentencing phase why he opposes the death penalty.
Autobee's lawyer told the judge it was not unconstitutional for him to ask for mercy.
“He has already lost his son,” said Iris Eytan. “Why does he have to lose his voice?”