Category Archives: Victim Voices

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.


KCADP Member Featured in Local Faith Magazine


In the spring issue of Voices of Charity magazine, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth have featured KCADP member Carolyn Zimmerman and her work against the death penalty.  Zimmerman, whose father was murdered in January 1969, uses her experience as the daughter of a murder victim to advocate for repeal of the death penalty in Kansas.


To read the article about Zimmerman, click here.


To view the full Spring 2012 issue of Voices of Charity, please click here.



Excellent Opinion Piece Published in the Emporia Gazette


On December 16, 2011, the Emporia Gazette published a column by Bob Grover entitled, “Abolish the death penalty in Kansas” which outlined many reasons that the death penalty in Kansas should be replaced with life in prison without the possibility of parole.


Grover approaches this topic from a variety of angles, including cost, deterrence, fairness, and innocence. But perhaps the most compelling argument Grover makes considers the needs of family members of homicide victims. He quotes Stan Bohn of North Newton, KS:


Perhaps forgiveness is the most compelling reason for abolishing the death penalty. My sister was raped and murdered, a shocking experience for us. Our family never had a chance to meet the murderer but wanted to in order to help the long slow healing process. None of us wanted the execution kind of ‘closure’ that can’t compensate the loss and only hinders real healing that might happen in victim-criminal talks. It’s time to end death penalty vengeance and consider the deeper healing that the victims need.


The entire article may be found here.