Abolition 2000 Calls on House Judiciary Committee to hear House Bill 514
Frankfort, KY --January 25, 2000 A press conference announcing the filing of a bill to abolish the state's
death penalty is scheduled for 1:30 P.M. Friday, January 28, in the
Capitol Rotunda. Sister Helen Prejean will be present to voice her support
of the Abolition 2000 Campaign and discuss the Kentucky tour of Murder Victims’
Families for Reconciliation. New polling data on Kentuckians attitudes on
capital punishment will be released. The data shows that Kentuckians favor the
punishment of life without parole more than the death penalty.
Results from state-wide polling conducted by the Urban Research Institute at
the University of Louisville discovered that support for the death penalty drops
by half -- from 66 percent to 35 percent -- when
life-in-prison-without-possibility-of-parole is presented as a sentencing option
in murder cases.
Sister Helen, author of Dead Man Walking, will tell her moving
journey of becoming an abolitionist. Her book, which was made into a movie with
the same title, confronts "both the plight of the condemned and the rage
of the bereaved, the needs of a crime-ridden society and the Christian
imperative of love." She will endorse the legislation and the Abolition
2000 Campaign. The Campaign is an educational project by the Kentucky Coalition
to Abolish the Death Penalty (KCADP) to better inform Kentuckians that capital
punishment is unnecessary, expensive, violent and unjust.
Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation (MVFR) is a supporting partner of
the Campaign. Members from the state and across the country will begin a
speaking tour of the state on Friday by talking to various groups about
forgiveness. MVFR membership consists not only of family members of murder
victims but also families of those who have been executed. The organization
advocates alternatives to the death penalty and supports programs that address
the needs of victims of violence.
Among the tour's speakers are Maria Hines, director of the Kentucky chapter,
Renny Cushing, national MVFR director and Bud Welch, who lost his daughter in
the Oklahoma City bombing. The tour - runs through Feb. 1 - cities on the tour:
Richmond, Danville, Bowling Green, Frankfort, Paducah and Louisville.