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Georgia murder victim's family pushes for Lisa's Law, aimed at giving them more rights

The family of murder victim Lisa Millican is trying to get a law passed in Alabama aimed at protecting their rights.
The family of murder victim Lisa Millican is trying to get a law passed in Alabama aimed at protecting their rights.
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The family of a North Georgia teenager kidnapped, tortured and killed in 1982 is fighting for the rights of victim's families.

Lisa Millican was just 13 years old when she was kidnapped from a mall in Rome. She was sexually assaulted, injected with drain cleaner and eventually shot to death. Her body was dumped into a canyon in northeast Alabama.

Her brother Calvin was 8 years old at the time.

"She was a good person, and she didn't deserve to be done like this," Calvin Millican said.

Decades later the pain hasn't stopped. The family is trying to get Lisa's Law passed in Alabama, and eventually in Georgia. We met with Lisa's brother and his wife to discuss their goals.

The woman found guilty in Lisa's murder, Judith Neelley, had her first parole hearing this year. It was denied.

This was made possible in 1999, when Alabama's governor at the time, Fob James, commuted her death sentence. The family says this was done without them being notified.

"Five more years, we have to go through this again," Calvin said.

His wife Cassie added, "This would prevent any more families from having to go what we went through had we been allowed to have a voice in the matter, it might not have happened."

Lisa's Law would require governors to notify victim's families before they commute a death sentence. This would give families like the Millicans a chance to share their input.

"All this does is say hey if you're planning on commuting the death sentence of anyone on death row, notify the victim's family, the district attorney, the attorney general and give them a right to be heard, Cassie said.

Cassie worked with attorney Troy King to help write Lisa's Law. He is running for attorney general in Alabama. They had a press conference in Alabama Friday to outline what it would do.

"There are lots of families standing in a similar situation and who deserve protection, and that is exactly what we intend to do," Troy King said.

"What happened was gruesome, it was awful, but she's going to be the voice for millions of other victims," Cassie said.

The law would also require people looking to make a profit from the story to get permission from the victim's families.

"This is not a unique problem. Lisa Ann Millican is not the only victim that has notoriety, who's memory stands to be desecrated for profit," King said.

The Millicans say this would apply to things like documentaries, re-enactments and books. There have been several made since Lisa's high-profile murder. The family says many of them got the facts wrong and painted a picture of the family that wasn't true. For example, Lisa was not an orphan as some accounts say.

"With these documentaries we've watched her die four, five times on these shows and we just want it to sop," Calvin said.

"No one wants to watch it and this story has been done and done, it's time to let her rest," Cassie said. "Let's make something positive come out of this so she didn't die in vain."

The family says right after Neelley's parole hearing, they were contacted about participating in a re-enactment show about the case. They say they have to re-live the pain all over again when this happens.

"You should be allowed to move on with your life, and that person shouldn't have to be exploited every single year for the entertainment of strangers, and that's what we are trying to stop," Cassie said.

You can read Lisa's Law below:

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