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Nov 21, 2012 4:37 PM by Ian Cross

Gail Leland, founder of Homicide Survivors, dies at 63

TUCSON - Gail Leland, a local woman who dedicated her life to standing up for victims of violence, died Wednesday morning after a long battle with cancer. She was 63.

Leland started a chapter of "Parents of Murdered Children" in Tucson in 1982 after the murder of her 14-year-old son.

In 1997, that chapter became Homicide Survivors, Inc., which is now a state-wide non-profit group that "offers support, advocacy and assistance to families and friends who have lost a loved one to murder," according to their website.

Leland has spent the years since her son's murder trying to bring the focus to the victims of violent crime, instead of those who commit the crimes.

Homicide Survivors, Inc. has also become a driving force behind such Arizona legislation as the Victims' Bill of Rights, State of Arizona Crime Victim Compensation & Assistance, Dangerous Crimes Against Children, Guilty Except Insane (Laura's Law), Victims' Right Not to Receive Inmate Mail (Judy's Law), and others, according to the website.

Leland is survived by her three sons and six grandchildren.

Funeral services are pending. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Homicide Survivors, Inc.

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