Mercy and Grief: Two Sides of the Same Coin

6 Mar

Team Holly understands there is deep-rooted resistance to Holly Coomber’s clemency among the understandably grief stricken family members and friends of William Allen’s homicide victims. We ask all who visit this site to respect the grief of the loving survivors of the women who were killed in this case, Donna Guerirri and Emily Moore.

With all due respect to the grief of the families, it should not be endorsed as the sole barrier to mercy for a girl who has paid an unconscionable price for crimes she could not prevent. Holly has served a lifetime in prison under tortuous conditions in penance for being a girl afraid and alone whom no one would help. She was broken and has been subsequently reborn.

Holly agonizes daily for the families of the women William Allen killed bearing the torment of having been forced to witness, but powerless to prevent, their fates. Seeking mercy for Holly is not meant to minimize the lives of either Emily Moore or Donna Guerriri. It does bring to bear the depth of the true perpetrator’s depravity and finally acknowledges that Holly, too, was an unspared child victim and suffers with them. Acknowledging after 26 years that Holly was also a victim of William Allen’s malevolence does not serve to disregard or dismiss the families’ grief.

As anyone who has ever suffered the unexpected untimely and traumatic death of a loved one knows, grief is long lasting. Even many decades after the sudden and traumatic loss of a parent, spouse, sibling or other close relative, surviving family members often become choked with grief at thoughts of a departed loves one. For family members of murder victims, a loved one’s death is often life shattering. Their grief is known to be uniquely wrenching. For a murder victim’s family, the potential release of a perpetrator may be the emotional trigger leading to renewed pain and anguish. These are the normal responses of the human heart.

The Guerriri and Moore Families have conveyed this natural pain and continuing sorrow when recounting the sudden terrible loss of their loved one in 1986 and in all the years that followed when these innocent women were forever gone from their lives. Their experience, like that of all crime victims, must be recognized, honored and respected. Our criminal justice system does so by attaching extremely severe punishment to the crime of murder.

In full accord with criminal justice, William Allen was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for his pernicious crimes, narrowly escaping the death penalty only because his malicious criminal conduct extended to the states’ primary witness, teenager Holly Coomber, which resulted in her post-traumatic incapacity to testify against him a third time. The Guerriri and Moore families can rest assured that William Allen will not ever walk free. Supporters of Holly Coomber unreservedly support that outcome.

Welcome to the Campaign for the Clemency and Release of Holly Coomber

5 Feb

Holly Coomber shortly before her arrest at age 17, taken while she was in the custody and control of principal offender William Allen

Thank you for visiting this site dedicated to winning clemency for Holly Coomber and her release from prison in New York State.  If you are coming here from one of the online petition sites, please accept our sincerest thanks for your consideration and support. If you have not done so and would like to sign one of the petitions, please follow the links at the bottom of the page; if you are an individual please follow the link for Individual Supporters, if you represent a group or an organization that would like to sign on as an entity please follow the link for Organizational Supporters.

Please feel free to contact the Team working for her release with any questions about Holly or how you might help in the campaign at the email address at the bottom of the page.  The address to send a letter to the Governor on Holly’s behalf is also at the bottom of the page.

You are invited to visit this site frequently for updates and to  share the site with individuals and organizations you believe would be interested in helping Holly gain her freedom to start a life for herself.

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