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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

05-16 Cincinnati Enquirer

Death-penalty opponents gather

By Walt Schaefer

Representatives of national organizations opposed to the death penalty stopped in Cincinnati Tuesday as they made their way from Terre Haute, Ind. to Lucasville.
Abe Bonowitz, national director of Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, said that he and other activists decided to support Ohio death-penalty opponents Tuesday night at the scheduled execution of Jay D. Scott, 48, at Lucasville.
They had been in Indiana to protest the death of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and, when Mr. McVeigh's execution was delayed, decided to assist Ohio activists at Lucasville.
“We will be there tonight to say that no amount of retaliatory violence can equal the value of the loved ones of murder victims' fam ilies,” Mr. Bonowitz told a gathering of about 25 opponents of capital punishment at the Peaslee Neighborhood Center in Over-the-Rhine.

Mr. Bonowitz was traveling by bus with Bill Pelke and George White, founders of Journey of Hope — From Violence to Healing, an organization of murder-victim family members opposed to the death penalty.
Mr. Pelke, formerly of Gary, Ind., said his grandmother was stabbed to death by teen-age girls in 1985; and, Mr. White was convicted, but later exonerated of his wife's 1985 slaying in Alabama.
Sister Alice Gerdeman, a leader of the Cincinnati religious group — the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center — said she will “support Mr. Scott through his final hours (while praying) the government sees fit to commute the sentence or give a stay of execution.”