“To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice.” -Desmond Tutu
On October 3rd, abolitionists from Ohio and across the US will meet in Portsmouth, OH to as they prepare for the Walk to Stop Executions. For one week, these men and women will be walking from Lucasville to Columbus with a common mission – ending executions.
Walkers will make the 83 mile pilgrimage over the course of 7 days, averaging about 13 miles a day. The final leg of the journey will be a 2.5 mile march to the Capitol and a rally on October 10th – the World Day Against the Death Penalty. Along the route and throughout the week, walkers and local members of the communities visited are invited to evening programs with presentations by key voices in the conversation against the death penalty. Though Ohio currently has a moratorium on the death penalty through 2015, 11 men have execution dates for 2016. With Pope Francis denouncing the death penalty in his speech to Congress on September 24th, now is the time to discuss the use, problems, and injustice in the system while we put pressure on the legislature.
IJPC staff are joining the Walk to Stop Executions. This is why we walk:
“I heard about the walk to stop executions during my field placement here at IJPC. I had an understanding of my personal value of all human life prior but learning about the death penalty has exponentially grown that feeling. So for me, I’m walking to take a step of my own towards abolishing the death penalty.” – Maggie Botts, Miami University, Fall Intern
“I walk for Dennis McGuire whose lengthy and painful execution process should alone be call to stop executions. I walk for all those on death row, for Greg, Phil, and Dave. For the lives lost by murder, and for an end to executions and the additional loss of life. For each of us whose lives are worth more than the worst thing we’ve done.” – Allison Reynolds-Berry, Executive Director
“My hope is that seeing all of us marching along will make people who haven’t delved very deeply into this issue-thinking that it is pretty black and white-stop and wonder if there’s something they’re missing. We want those individuals to come to the community events that are being hosted along the route. I truly believe that if people knew how unfair, discriminatory, and inhumane the death penalty in Ohio is, they could not in good conscious continue to support it. “ – Andrea Koverman, SC, Program Manager
“Since 1973, 155 men and women have spent years in prison for a time they did not commit – as a society, we cannot make a deadly mistake in the name of justice. The fact that on average, a person is exonerated every 3 months, means that this system – in addition to being cruel, expensive, and not a deterrent to crime – is too riddled with fault for any civilized nation to see it fit for use.” – Mary Ellen Huss, Operations Manager
Follow our journey on social media – Facebook and Instagram. We will be planning a follow up in the coming weeks to share about what we have learned. If you are so moved, consider endorsing the Walk to Stop Executions on their website.
The Walk to Stop Executions is organized by Scioto Peace and Justice Fellowship of Reconciliation and co-sponsored by Footprints for Peace, IJPC, Ohioans to Stop Executions, and Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio.