Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bud Welch at Utah symposium on the death penalty

MVFHR board president Bud Welch spoke at a Utah Valley State College death penalty symposium last week, along with several other interesting speakers like scholars Nils Christie, Hugo Bedau, and Margaret Vandiver. Bud, who has spoken in so many different venues about his opposition to the death penalty after his daughter Julie Marie was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing, said that he felt this symposium was successful because so many of the students in attendance came to the event not having known much about the death penalty, so he didn't feel like he was just telling them things they already knew and agreed with: "Many of them said at the start that they were kind of supportive of the death penalty, but really they didn't know much about it and hadn't given it that much thought."

After two full days of presentations, the students said they had learned a tremendous amount. One of the points that Bud remembers his audience being particularly struck by was the information that less than one percent of convicted murderers receive the death penalty. "We talked about how, if the death penalty is supposed to bring closure to murder victims' families, what are the other 99& supposed to do?"

This article shows some of the coverage that Bud's talk at the symposium received.

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