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Sunday, November 18, 2018

1997 Sam Reese Memorial Walk Ohio

From Sam Reese Sheppard, son of Dr. & Marilyn Sheppard

September 8, 1997

Alternatives - Memorial Walk

"Upon the event of the exhumation of my father's body to test for DNA, I have decided to walk across the state of Ohio.

"I wish to dedicate the walk to the memory of my mother and father, and to call attention to the plight of children whose lives are touched by the tragedy of violence in our society -- the children who must live the rest of their lives with the anguish of a murdered parent, or a parent awaiting execution.

"As we await the results of further DNA testing in the Sheppard case, I will walk in a day of silent mourning for my mother and father (the press permitting) and then proceed to walk across Ohio. I will walk from my mothers grave site to the site of her murder, then south to Mansfield where death row prisoners are housed, to Marion and Columbus where my father spent ten years of his life wrongfully imprisoned, and from there to Cincinnati. This is the way I must deal with my private anguish. I will walk and meditate. People may join at certain junctures.

"My friends and I will urge the people of Ohio to look at the American Bar Association's study, calling for a moratorium on the death penalty in the USA because of its unfairness, disparity and futility.

"We hope Ohio will halt the horror and terror of executions before they begin.

"We need to reexamine the motives that re-enforce the expression of revenge and retaliation in our society. We should reallocate funding to prevent murder and to help the victims family members and the offender family members socially and psychologically.

"We believe that politicians who push for the death penalty are out of touch with the true aspects of a humane people. The alternative of 25 years or more without possibility of parole, with restitution payments to the victims families, proves to be the answer which will allow us to look beyond the fear and division so that we may build communities of caring and peace.

"My friends and I hope to see you along the way - on the Alternatives-Memorial Walk Across Ohio."

In the press

The News Herald
September 18, 1997