From the Associated Press, 10/10/12, "Okla. church leaders, murder victim's daughter to join national effort, denounce death penalty":
OKLAHOMA CITY — The daughter of a slain Kansas Highway Patrol trooper will join church leaders from across the state as part of an anti-death penalty initiative in Oklahoma.
Neely Goen (GOH'-ehn) and members of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches will release a theological statement in opposition to the death penalty during the event Wednesday at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Goen is an ordained minister from Wellston whose father, Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Conroy O'Brien, was gunned down on a Kansas turnpike east of Wichita in 1978. Goen is now an advocate for the abolishment of the death penalty.
Oklahoma has executed four inmates so far in 2012, and Attorney General Scott Pruitt has asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set execution dates for two other death row prisoners.
And from KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City, "A Murder Victim's Daughter Speaks Against the Death Penalty":
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- Opponents of capital punishment gather at the Capitol to observe the 10th World Day Against the Death Penalty.
"I am here today because I believe we need to abolish the death penalty in Oklahoma," said Bishop Michael Girlinghouse of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Neely Goen is the daughter of a slain Kansas Highway Patrol Officer Conroy O'Brien.
"There was some issues with dealing with the anger," said Goen.
Goen never knew her father. He was killed five months before she was born.
"I was a huge supporter of the death penalty until age 24 or 25 then God showed me this guy's life is worth just as much as mine," said Goen.
Goen says through her faith she came to forgive her father's killer and form a relationship with him.
"I want people to realize that everybody no matter right, no matter wrong, no matter whether they've cut you off in traffic or killed your brother, they're still a human being and all you're doing by taking them is causing more pain."
While Goen's perspective on the death penalty changed as she got older, she quickly learned not everyone would agree with her.
"I believe these people should pay the ultimate price in my opinion," said State Rep. Mike Sanders.
Rep. Sanders argues capital punishment serves as a deterrent. He also believes it holds people accountable for their actions.
Oklahoma has executed four inmates so far in 2012. Attorney General Scott Pruitt has asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set execution dates for two other death row prisoners.