Families Relive Tragedy

Linda Kennedy’s police officer husband was murdered in 1974. Office John Kennedy’s killer got life which back then meant 25 years. Since 1999, Linda has brought her family to Tallahassee to say no to the killers parole.

"The pain and hardship a family endures when a loved one is taken from you is such a brutal way... in such a brutal way is indescribable,” said Simpson.

First, the family came every two years because state law said that’s how often the killer deserved a hearing, then it was lengthen to five years. Now a new change pushes the hearings to every seven years. Linda’s oldest daughter Dawn says the change will be a relief.

"It's painful, you know, it's never going to be removed, it's never going to go away. So, I'm glad that we got from five to seven years," said Dawn.

Only a small percentage of victims actually show up, in part because these cases are 35 and 40 years old. On the other side, the family of the inmates say this hurts them.

"I need my husband, my best friend, my soul mate. Home, I need him home," said Pam Morgan, wife of convicted killer.

But the family of John Kennedy, which last made their case in 2008, is now happy they don’t have to come back until 2020.

"It's very emotional, it stirs up everything," said Dawn.

But when the time comes, they say they will be here just as they have in the past.

Florida abolished parole in 1995 but many convicted before then are still eligible to be paroled. The Commission meets most Wednesdays in Tallahassee.


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