• Kirkland father doesn't want death penalty abolished

    By: Alison Grande


    KIRKLAND, Wash. - A Kirkland man whose entire family was murdered in 2006 does not want the death penalty abolished. 

    Leonid Milkin is upset the King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg testified in favor of getting rid of the death penalty in Olympia on Monday.

    "It's shameful, it's deplorable," Milkin said. "They're betraying victims and they're basically helping the murderers get away with murder." 

    Milkin was serving in Iraq with the National Guard in July 2006 when a neighbor murdered his wife and children and burned down his house to cover up the crime. 

    Olga Milkin was found with her sons, Justin, 5, and Andrew, 3, and her sister Lyuba Botvina, in the burned home. Investigators say they were stabbed to death. 

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    Conner Schierman, who had recently moved into the duplex across the street, was tried for the killings and convicted. 

    In the penalty phase the jury recommended he be sentenced to death. The judge agreed, sentencing Schierman to death in 2010.  

    His appeal is still at the State Supreme Court while he sits on death row.

    Milkin wants Schierman put to death.  

    "I will be relieved, I will be completely relieved and feel like justice has been served," Milkin said. 

    Now he's worried he won't get justice for his family.

    "I'm very upset and disappointed and feel betrayed by Inslee and Ferguson. They're more concerned about keeping marijuana legal than protecting the victims and doing what's right," Milkin said.

    He said if the system is broken, it should simply be fixed. 

    "The people who are sworn to uphold the law are not doing their job, quite frankly," Milkin said. "If everybody would have done their job, the system would not have been broken and it would not have taken this long."

    He doesn't think the cost of the appeals is a strong argument. He said it will cost a lot of money to keep Schierman incarcerated for the rest of his life.

    "In my opinion you can't put a price on justice," Milkin added.

    If the state is going to consider abolishing the death penalty, Milkin says it should be up to the voters to decide.

    "I don't want some guy in Olympia who is clueless, who was not affected by this horrible tragedy to make such a decision. I want the people to decide."

    If the voters did decide to abolish the death penalty, Milkin says Schierman and the other men on death row should still be put to death.

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