Category Archives: Victim Voices

Thank you Vicki Schieber!

Vicki Pic

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our Annual Abolition Conference, as well as, Vicki’s other speaking events at Benedictine College and Pittsburg State University!

KCADP would like to especially Thank to Vicki Schieber and family for making the trip to Kansas!

Also, don’t forget to click here and download all the materials presented at the Abolition Conference! Always stay informed!

2013 Abolition Conference

This event is FREE and OPEN to the public!

2013 Conference Flyer

 

Mark your calendars for October 19th and join us for our 2013 Abolition Conference at First Christian Church of Topeka, located at 1880 SW Gage Blvd., in Topeka!

 

Pre-Register today by calling our office at 785-235-2237!

 

Come and Listen to Vicki Schieber, the mother of Shannon Schieber, who was just 23 years old when she was brutally raped and murdered in 1998, share her unique perspective on the death penalty.  Mrs. Schieber is now the Education Coordinator at the Catholic mobilizing Network to end the Use of the Death Penalty and is Chair of murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights’ Board of Directors.

 

The Annual Meeting for KCADP will start at 1 p.m. All KCADP members are invited to attend. The brief meeting will include election of new officers as well as proposed bylaws changes. Click here to see the proposed bylaws changes and click here to see the final nomination slate for Board Members.

 

KCADP will offer the following workshops:

Innocence and the Death Penalty

Conservative and the Death Penalty

Cost and the Death Penalty

Legislative Process and the Death Penalty

 

 

 

To Pre-Register please call our office at 785-235-2237!

Commemoration Ceremony at the Tree of Healing

memorytreeMary Sloan, KCADP Executive Director, ties a yellow ribbon around the Tree of Healing at the annual Commemoration Ceremony. Thank you to all of those who participated!

Read more about the ceremony here.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo and Story by Glenn Bartlett (Kansas First News)

Video: Father of Murder Victim Shares Why He Opposes Death Penalty

 

Bob Hessman, Dodge City, shares the story of his and his wife’s efforts to forgive the man who murdered their daughter.

 

 

 

Kansas Op-Ed: Neely Goen, Daughter of Murder Victim, Opposes Death Penalty

 

Neely Goen never met her father.  His name was Conroy O’Brien, and he was a Kansas state trooper who was murdered in the line of duty.

 

Neely told her story, and how she came to oppose the death penalty, in an op-ed to the Wichita Eagle published today.

 

Neely wrote:

“My father’s murder, along with other cases, led people to call for a return of the death penalty, which Kansas eventually reinstated in 1994.

But over time, after I saw how the death penalty system actually works, my feelings on the issue changed.

What I’ve discovered is a legal process that no murder victim’s family should have to endure.”

 

You can read the full story by clicking here.

 

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims

 

September 25th marks the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.  Last year, 116 Kansans lost their lives to murder.  Every one was someone’s child, friend or family member.

 

Today we pause to remember the many Kansans who have lost their lives to murder over the years.  We extend our deepest sympathy to their families and friends.

 

Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation (MVFR) observes the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victim’s through their Remembrance Project.  Please visit their website for more information and resources for families of murder victims.

 

KCADP Member Featured in Local Faith Magazine

 

In the spring issue of Voices of Charity magazine, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth have featured KCADP member Carolyn Zimmerman and her work against the death penalty.  Zimmerman, whose father was murdered in January 1969, uses her experience as the daughter of a murder victim to advocate for repeal of the death penalty in Kansas.

 

To read the article about Zimmerman, click here.

 

To view the full Spring 2012 issue of Voices of Charity, please click here.

 

 

Excellent Opinion Piece Published in the Emporia Gazette

 

On December 16, 2011, the Emporia Gazette published a column by Bob Grover entitled, “Abolish the death penalty in Kansas” which outlined many reasons that the death penalty in Kansas should be replaced with life in prison without the possibility of parole.

 

Grover approaches this topic from a variety of angles, including cost, deterrence, fairness, and innocence. But perhaps the most compelling argument Grover makes considers the needs of family members of homicide victims. He quotes Stan Bohn of North Newton, KS:

 

Perhaps forgiveness is the most compelling reason for abolishing the death penalty. My sister was raped and murdered, a shocking experience for us. Our family never had a chance to meet the murderer but wanted to in order to help the long slow healing process. None of us wanted the execution kind of ‘closure’ that can’t compensate the loss and only hinders real healing that might happen in victim-criminal talks. It’s time to end death penalty vengeance and consider the deeper healing that the victims need.

 

The entire article may be found here.

 

 

Victim Voices: Marilyn J. Trechter “My Own Journey As an Abolitionist”

TO ACT JUSTLY, TO LOVE MERCY AND TO WALK HUMBLY

My Own Journey As An Abolitionist

by Marilyn J. Trechter

My own journey toward abolition actually began on April 4, 1968.  On the day before my sixteenth birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered. What impressed me was that I was so saddened by the riots that occurred as a response to the murder.  This man was an Apostle of Non-Violence. His murderer was not found until another murder occurred in June of that year.

On June 5, 1968 Robert F. Kennedy became the second member of his family to be murdered. The response of the Kennedy family was to appeal to the court not to seek the Death Penalty for Sirhan Sirhan.  The Kennedys knew that society needed to be protected, and yet they chose life rather than death.

At that time I began to deeply contemplate this idea: Why do we kill when the Man who most of us consider our Lord and Savior said not to?  This same man also died a violent death at the hands of the religious and civic leaders.  How can we ever allow or desire the death of another as punishment?

For several years I contemplated this reality.  I was vaguely aware of the US Catholic Bishops Good Friday Pastoral against the Death Penalty. I was more aware that a movie called Dead Man Walking had been made. This movie stirred my heart to its depths.  Sister Helen Prejean, a Sister of St. Joseph, became a death row prisoner’s spiritual advisor and accompanied him to his death. The story of Dead Man Walking and Sr. Helen completely changed my view of the Death Penalty.  When I had the chance to meet Sr. Helen in person, I found her to be a warm and compassionate woman who manifested the charisma of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

I was also influenced by Pope John Paul II.  The Pope advocated for many prisoners on Death Row.  He met with the man who tried to assassinate him in 1981.  When he visited St. Louis in January 1999, the Pope asked then-Governor Mel Carnahan to spare the life of Darrell Mease, a man about to be executed by the State of Missouri.  Shortly after the Pope’s visit, Carnahan commuted Mease’s sentence to life in prison.

Two experiences dramatically affected my pro-life stance on this issue.  The first was the conviction and execution of Timothy McVeigh. The second experience was the abduction, rape and murder of my cousin, Kaysi McLeod.  When Kaysi was murdered,  I chose to be pro-life and forgive.

I am an Abolitionist because I am convinced that no one has the right to kill another person, even if that person took a life.  I am committed to the sanctity of all life from conception to natural death.  I am convinced that God is loving and life-giving. God loves and forgives, as do I.

 

Victim Voices: Celeste Dixon

“In 1986 my mother was raped and murdered in her rural home outside Houston. The murderer was eventually convicted and sentenced to death, an outcome I was initially happy with.  Eventually I realized killing him was not going to bring her back. I forgave this man for what he had done—not for him, but for me. I realized supporting the death penalty meant that I was actively wishing for another human being to die and I didn’t like the way that made me feel.  Hating him and wishing him dead had been controlling my life and keeping me locked up in an anger I didn’t even realize I was living with until I let it go.  In 2007, the State of Texas executed him for my mother’s murder. Killing him didn’t bring closure, only sadness that the cycle of violence continued. Death penalty advocates talk about closure but there’s no such thing.  No matter how someone dies, you can never have closure because that person will never come back to you. The best any of us can do is slowly, and painfully, deal with that death and put our lives back together. The death penalty holds out a false promise to people of a release from their pain and suffering that only time and grieving can bring.”

-Celeste Dixon

Larned, KS