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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

06-14 Pall-Item

Hope Group Wants to End Death Penalty
By Kelly McNamara

A group of families of murder victims will be in Richmond this week to speak out against the death penalty.
“We are very tired of people perceiving us in a stereotypical way – as people seeking revenge,” said Sam R. Sheppard, of Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation, Sunday night at a small gathering at the Earlham School of Religion.
Sheppard is part of Journey of Hope, a group of murder victims’ families traveling across the Midwest to publicize its anti-death penalty message.
Sheppard and Liz Richardson came to Richmond with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) member Jana Schroeder.
Sheppard is the son of Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard of Cleveland, who was falsely accused of murdering his wife. The state of Ohio wanted to execute Dr. Sheppard, but instead was given a life sentence. He served 10 years for a crime he did not commit.
Trauma: It was the pending death penalty that put then 7-year-old Sheppard through so trauma, he said. He said that he didn’t want anyone to go through the problems that his family went through.
“We want to create platforms for reconciliation. Violence is out of control,” Shepard said.
Richardson talked about her work in Iowa – a state, at this time, does not have the death penalty. She said that her group lobbies against capital punishment whenever it is proposed in the state legislature.
Schroeder also spoke briefly on her views opposing the death penalty. The AFSC along with several other groups, including Amnesty International, is sponsoring the Journey of Hope.
Journey of Hope will have speakers from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at II East’s Vivian Auditorium.