Category Archives: Victim Voices

McIntyre case gives reason to pause

 

 

Rev. Thea Nietfeld and Bill Lucero

Rev. Thea Nietfeld and Bill Lucero

 

 

 

 

On Oct. 13th, after proceedings in Wyandotte County District court, Lamonte McIntyre was released from custody after serving 23 years on charges of murdering two persons.  The District Attorney agreed to the release calling it a case of “manifest injustice”.  McIntyre became the second person released in Kansas in two years due to exoneration after being convicted of first degree murder.

 

Murder victim family member, Bill Lucero, of Topeka, addressed the topic of error in our criminal justice system from a victim family perspective in a recent Topeka Capital Journal letter to the editor.

 

“…The wrongful conviction and imprisonment of Lamonte McIntyre is a sickening reminder of how our criminal justice system can be manipulated by one corrupt high-ranking police officer’s ulterior motives which, in combination with an unethical relationship during the trial, amounted to significant judicial misconduct.

 

There are many of us who have lost loved ones to murder and who oppose capital punishment if for no other reason than the fear of contributing to the execution of an innocent defendant….”

 

To read the full letter on the TCJ website click here.

 

Not in MY Name!

 

 

Dixon head shot

 

 

 

 

 

Celeste Dixon was originally a weak supporter of the death penalty. She lost her mom, Marguerite, to murder in Texas. What kept her going after her mom’s death was the promise of a trial and that they were seeking the death penalty.

 

Celeste attended the trial every day because she wanted the defendant to see the people left behind and their anger and rage. After the guilty verdict and the death sentence, her family was relieved. A juror told them he’d held out for death because it was “a comforting thing to do” for the family.

 

Over time, Celeste began to question the death penalty because of the impact of the prolonged anger it created in her. She became active in a prolife group while in college. She eventually realized that she could no longer support the death penalty. Celeste noted that once she began to oppose the death penalty, the DA in her mom’s case was less responsive to her.

 

Her mom’s murderer was executed 21 years after the crime. Despite the juror’s belief that execution would be comforting, Celeste did not experience it that way. The death penalty process ultimately did not help her with the tremendous loss she had suffered.

 

Her experience led her to conclude that capital punishment actually fails to help murder victim family members rebuild their lives.  Ms. Dixon shared her journey with attendees at the Coalition’s recent Abolition Conference in McPherson.

 

Spreading the Word by Carolyn Zimmerman

 

I became an advocate at the invitation of someone who was already involved in this important work.

 

Whether you share your personal experience of commitment to abolition or express your financial support of the cause, you can help grow the movement. There are many opportunities and examples of how individuals can quietly – but effectively – share their dedication to causes.

  • You might write an article or give a short presentation for your faith community.
  • Offer to speak to your favorite civic group or reading club.
  • Post on Facebook or another internet site.
  • Submit a “Thought for the Day” or a “Letter to the Editor” to your local newspaper.

 

Sometimes, if you are alert and brave, the most surprising and satisfying turn of events occurs, one that you hadn’t really planned. Somehow, over a cup of coffee with a good friend, the opening appears straight out of the blue and you have the chance to engage in a deeper subject. Your reward may well be capturing a new champion for the cause!”

 
Kansan Carolyn Zimmerman is a murder victim family member who advocates in support of abolition.  

 

New Resource Featuring the Voices of Kansas Murder Victims’ Families

 

Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation has partnered with KCADP on putting together a new resource sharing the personal stories of Kansas murder victims’ families and some of their concerns about the death penalty. In this booklet, murder victims’ families from across the state of Kansas share their own experiences of losing a loved one to murder and the ways that the death penalty fails as a response to such tragedy. Below is a link to this powerful resource.

Kansas Victims Voices Booklet

 

Thank you Vicki Schieber!

Vicki Pic

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our Annual Abolition Conference, as well as, Vicki’s other speaking events at Benedictine College and Pittsburg State University!

KCADP would like to especially Thank to Vicki Schieber and family for making the trip to Kansas!

Also, don’t forget to click here and download all the materials presented at the Abolition Conference! Always stay informed!

2013 Abolition Conference

This event is FREE and OPEN to the public!

2013 Conference Flyer

 

Mark your calendars for October 19th and join us for our 2013 Abolition Conference at First Christian Church of Topeka, located at 1880 SW Gage Blvd., in Topeka!

 

Pre-Register today by calling our office at 785-235-2237!

 

Come and Listen to Vicki Schieber, the mother of Shannon Schieber, who was just 23 years old when she was brutally raped and murdered in 1998, share her unique perspective on the death penalty.  Mrs. Schieber is now the Education Coordinator at the Catholic mobilizing Network to end the Use of the Death Penalty and is Chair of murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights’ Board of Directors.

 

The Annual Meeting for KCADP will start at 1 p.m. All KCADP members are invited to attend. The brief meeting will include election of new officers as well as proposed bylaws changes. Click here to see the proposed bylaws changes and click here to see the final nomination slate for Board Members.

 

KCADP will offer the following workshops:

Innocence and the Death Penalty

Conservative and the Death Penalty

Cost and the Death Penalty

Legislative Process and the Death Penalty

 

 

 

To Pre-Register please call our office at 785-235-2237!

Commemoration Ceremony at the Tree of Healing

memorytreeMary Sloan, KCADP Executive Director, ties a yellow ribbon around the Tree of Healing at the annual Commemoration Ceremony. Thank you to all of those who participated!

Read more about the ceremony here.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo and Story by Glenn Bartlett (Kansas First News)

Video: Father of Murder Victim Shares Why He Opposes Death Penalty

 

Bob Hessman, Dodge City, shares the story of his and his wife’s efforts to forgive the man who murdered their daughter.

 

 

 

Kansas Op-Ed: Neely Goen, Daughter of Murder Victim, Opposes Death Penalty

 

Neely Goen never met her father.  His name was Conroy O’Brien, and he was a Kansas state trooper who was murdered in the line of duty.

 

Neely told her story, and how she came to oppose the death penalty, in an op-ed to the Wichita Eagle published today.

 

Neely wrote:

“My father’s murder, along with other cases, led people to call for a return of the death penalty, which Kansas eventually reinstated in 1994.

But over time, after I saw how the death penalty system actually works, my feelings on the issue changed.

What I’ve discovered is a legal process that no murder victim’s family should have to endure.”

 

You can read the full story by clicking here.

 

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims

 

September 25th marks the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.  Last year, 116 Kansans lost their lives to murder.  Every one was someone’s child, friend or family member.

 

Today we pause to remember the many Kansans who have lost their lives to murder over the years.  We extend our deepest sympathy to their families and friends.

 

Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation (MVFR) observes the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victim’s through their Remembrance Project.  Please visit their website for more information and resources for families of murder victims.