Today in Connecticut, religious leaders are holding a news conference at the state capitol, calling for abolition of the death penalty. They are presenting to lawmakers a letter signed by 350 religious leaders.
As part of a series of events that the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty has organized this week, MVFHR's Bud Welch will be speaking at venues around the state over the next three days. CNADP has the info.
Here's the Post-Chronicle's story about tonight's event:
MILFORD - The father of an Oklahoma City bombing victim, Bud Welch, will speak against the death penalty, Tuesday, April 5, 7 p.m., at St. Gabriel Church Hall, 50 Broadway.
On April 19, 1995, Bud Welch’s 23-year-old daughter, Julie, and 167 others were killed in the bomb blast that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. Bud had always opposed the death penalty but Julie’s death prompted bouts of anger, pain, hatred and revenge. He longed to see Timothy McVeigh (who was eventually tried and convicted of the bombing and executed) dead.
After months of agony Welch began to question his desire for revenge. He realized that nothing positive would arise from McVeigh’s execution. “It was hatred and revenge that made me want to see him dead and those two things were the very reason that Julie and 167 others were dead,” he said. He also remembered Julie’s comments that executions were only “teaching children to hate.”
Mr. Welch was moved to reach out to McVeigh’s family. Since this experience, Welch has traveled the country speaking out against the death penalty. He has appeared on 60 Minutes and Good Morning America, and has written pieces for both Time and Newsweek.
Welch is a board member of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation and met with President Clinton at the White House to present the plans for the national memorial.