Terre Haute Forum to Feature Family of Victims of Man to be Executed: Experts and Voices of Experience on the Death Penalty to Decry Federal Executions
Terre Haute, IN – December 5, 2019: Speakers from local and national organizations will address perspectives on human rights and the death penalty at a December 8th public forum in Terre Haute, Indiana as the possibility of federal executions is visited upon the Vigo County community. Speakers include faith leaders, murder victim family members (including the sister of Nancy Mueller, one of the victims of Daniel Lee), family members of people facing execution, and organizational leaders. See the full speaker list on the event web page.
The State of Injustice: International Human Rights Day Death Penalty Forum
1pm to 5pm, Sunday, December 8, 2019
St. Benedict Catholic Church, Hellmann Hall
111 S. 9th St., Terre Haute, IN
This event will be followed by a short highly visual protest march to, and candle light vigil at, the nearby Federal Courthouse. If the execution of Daniel Lee is not definitively stayed, a press conference will precede the march and vigil. All noted events will be live-streamed on the Death Penalty Action and Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance facebook pages.
“The juxtaposition of execution dates set on December 9, 11 and 13 with International Human Rights Day on December 10 set the stage for this event,” said Abraham Bonowitz, co-director Death Penalty Action. Other participating national organizations include faith groups like the Sisters of Providence, the Catholic Mobilizing Network, Pax Christi USA and human/civil rights groups such as Amnesty International, the NAACP and Journey of Hope… From Violence to Healing, an organization led by murder victim family members opposed to the death penalty. The full list of endorsing and sponsoring organizations is on the event web page.
Among the participants in the forum will be Kimma and/or Lance Gurel. Kimma’s sister Nancy Mueller, as well as Nancy’s husband William and their eight-year-old daughter Sarah are the victims of Chevie Kehoe and Daniel Lee. Daniel Lee is scheduled to be executed in Terre Haute on December 9, 2019, in what could become the first federal execution since 2003. Kehoe, Lee’s co-defendant and the actual killer, did not receive a death sentence. The family of the victims in this case has been outspoken in their opposition to the death penalty and have appealed to the President for clemency. Kimma & Lance’s daughter Monica and granddaughter Abigail may also be present at the forum depending on their travel schedule.
Also participating in the forum will be the brothers of Rodney Reed and Kevin Keith, innocent men sentenced to death who remain incarcerated. Rodrick Reed is the brother of innocent Texas prisoner Rodney Reed. Reed’s November execution date was halted after a massive outpouring of public concern, including two days of feature programming on the Doctor Phil show, bi-partisan support from numerous Texas state and national legislators, law enforcement professionals, and such disparate national figures as Ted Cruz and Kim Kardashian West.
Charles Keith is the brother of Ohio prisoner Kevin Keith, whose death sentence was commuted in 2010 by then-Governor Ted Strickland within 13 days of his scheduled execution. Keith’s case is currently pending before the US District Court of Appeals in Ohio.
Reed and Keith will give updates on the status of their brothers cases and share perspectives on capital punishment.
This event is coordinated by Death Penalty Action and the local Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance network, which has been led by Sister Barbara Battista of the Sisters of Providence. The groups have together been working to prepare the local community for the impact of federal executions on the local community and prison employees. Many of the organizers and local organizations came together in recognition of the impact of federal executions and their aftermath on the local community and citizens, particularly around the execution of the Oklahoma City Bomber in 2001.
Death Penalty Action has established petitions to Congress and President Trump and has been encouraging protest of the resumption of federal executions. While most local efforts were cancelled or suspended when the executions were stayed, several events remain scheduled around the country and are listed on the Death Penalty Action Federal Executions web page.
The public is welcome to attend this free event. Registration is strongly advised via the link on the event web page.
For More Information Contact:
Abraham Bonowitz – 561-371-5204 – abe@DeathPenaltyAction.org