STARKE, Fla. - "Many people have asked why I decided to come today. I did not come here today to celebrate Juan Carlos's execution. In fact, I did not want to be here today. So why did I come? I came here to represent my brother, Jimmy Ryce. I came here for my sister, Martha, and my mother Claudine.
I came here today because I believe in the justice that has been served this day. I am here to support that belief. I also came here today as a symbol of strength. To show you that in spite of all the terrible tragedies we've been through, my father and I still stand strong. And strength is something that we are sorely lacking in our country today.
Many people did not believe that Juan Carlos Chavez should be put to death for his horrible crime of raping and murdering my brother. And I believe this comes from a place of weakness – not strength. It comes from not being able to face the atrociousness of some men's actions and punish them on a level commensurate with their crime.
But we must be strong. We must do what it takes to send a clear message to other child predators that if they go after children - if they kill children - that they will die at the executioner's hands.
Today will bring no closure. As my father has stated, 'closure' does not exist. But the justice served this day after a painful 19 years will end the chapter on this part of our life. And now we look forward to moving on. Thank you."
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