David Biro, a 16-year-old high-school student the Langerts had never met, sat up in an easy chair and pointed the gun at their heads. He bound the terrified young couple's wrists with handcuffs and led them to the basement.
"I'm pregnant. We're begging for our lives!" Nancy pleaded. "Please, please don't hurt us."
Instead, Biro blew Richard's brains out, splattering his blood over his terrified wife, who lay beside him.
Arms shielding her abdomen, Nancy continued to beg. "Please don't hurt me. Please don't hurt my baby!" Biro shot Nancy in the stomach, instantly killing her unborn child. As she lay bleeding to death on the basement floor, Nancy called for help in the darkness. It never came. Before the young wife took her last breath, she expressed her undying love for her husband of three years. With his blood, she drew a heart and the letter "U" on the metal storage shelves above her.
Biro was arrested after he told a friend details of the killings. Convicted of murdering the Langerts and their unborn child, Biro is now serving three consecutive life terms in prison.
But for Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, Nancy Langert's sister, Biro's punishment was not enough.
Bishop-Jenkins is also against second chances for juveniles like Biro. Several organizations are advocating that prisoners convicted of murder as adolescents get a second chance -- release from prison -- after serving 15 years. The argument is being pushed under HR 2289 – The Juvenile Justice Accountability and Improvement Act of 2009.
On Aug. 17, the Heritage Foundation is scheduled to debate the issue live on C-Span. The organization also will release the findings of a damaging report on "Adult Time for Adult Crimes: Exposing the Movement to Set Free Juvenile Killers and Violent Offenders." It lays out myths created by offender-advocate groups, which have spent over $10 million in the last two to three years publishing "poor child in jail" propaganda. They use photos that make it appear convicts who were 17 when they killed were much younger, often showing them as 10-year-olds. The one-sided myths omit detailed information about individual crimes, misleading readers into believing youthful killers might deserve a second chance.
In Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins's opinion, "the focus of those who support HR 2289 has been, up to this point, almost entirely offender-centered. The message being sent is too much about 'the poor kids in prison.' They need to change their approach to one built on not only strong partnerships with law-enforcement and violence-prevention professionals, but to one that is all about restorative-justice principals."
Restorative Justice is an approach that addresses the harm caused to victims and focuses on accountability for crime. Some offender advocates have attempted to hijack the restorative-justice process and turn it into simply this: the victim forgives and the killer gets out.