Anti-death penalty group announces speakers for walk to Columbus

By Frank Lewis

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The group planning a walk from Southern Ohio Correctional Facility to the Statehouse in Columbus in opposition to Ohio’s death penalty has announced the speakers who will address walkers each evening during the trek.

Among those scheduled to speak are former director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Terry Collins, who, according to a news release from the group, participated in 33 executions; Derrick Jamison, who was exonerated in 2005 after serving 20 years on Ohio’s death row; Sam Reese Sheppard, whose father, Dr. Sam Sheppart, was, according to the news release, wrongly convicted in the murder of his wife, and Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood, a Southern Baptist minister who has engaged with death row prisoners in Texas. Hood is the author of seven books.

The event is jointly organized by Scioto Peace & Justice Fellowship of Reconciliation, Intercommunity Justice & Peace Center, Footprints for Peace, Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio, and Ohioans to Stop Executions.

Starting at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday Oct. 4, death penalty abolitionists from Ohio and beyond will begin a seven day, 83-mile walk from the SOCF where Ohio conducts executions to the Statehouse in Columbus, calling for an end to capital punishment. More than a dozen participants are registered to walk the entire route, and the group says hundreds of supporters from across Ohio are expected for the final leg to the Statehouse on Saturday, Oct. 10, which is observed internationally as World Day Against the Death Penalty.

At evening programs in Portsmouth on Oct. 3, Chillicothe on Oct. 5, Circleville on Oct. 7, and Columbus on Oct. 9, residents of local communities are invited to conversations about the death penalty with walkers and special guests.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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