I was pleased to read Shannon Parrott’s letter last week (“Victim’s family suffers, too,” Back Talk, Dec. 5). Although Mosi Secret’s story about the murder of her aunt, Kay Stokes, was more even-handed than many accounts (“The mind of Kenneth Maready,” cover story, Nov. 7), Parrott’s anger is merited. Too often, the effect of crime on the victim’s loved ones is barely mentioned. The interest in and support for the perpetrator seem to far outweigh concern for the random victim of a crime.

I’ve heard and read accounts by advocates for the abolition of the death penalty when the victim was hardly noted, if at all. It’s as if the speaker or writer is in a hurry to get past the inconvenient details of the crime in order to focus on the sad circumstances of the perpetrator’s life or the inequities of our justice system.

As a longtime volunteer in a Raleigh prison, I’ve watched inmates work hard to make amends and turn their lives around. For crime victims and their families, moving on will be easier when their grief and loss are given greater weight by the media and public in general.

For another point of view, go to www.nc-van.org, the Web site of the North Carolina Victim Assistance Network.

Peter Kramer

Listen up, Johnny

Regarding the open letter to John Edwards (“Edwards Watch: Crunch time,” Nov. 28): Well said, Bob Geary! I just hope someone in Edwards’ campaign makes sure he reads it.

Nell Whitlock