By Frank Lewis
A group of local citizens and others will step off the week of Oct. 3-4, to travel to Columbus in support of legislation in the Senate and the House of Representatives abolishing the death penalty in Ohio. The walk is expected to take a week.
“We’re going to meet on the evening of the 3rd for a big meal down at the Electricians (IBEW) Hall (Portsmouth),” R.L. Mohl of Scioto Peace and Justice, said. “And then the walkers and supporters will stay overnight at St. Mary School on Fifth Street and then start early in the morning from Lucasville and walk in hitches through the week to the Statehouse.
The actual location where the walk will begin is the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville, the location where executions take place.
“The death penalty is flat out cruel and unusual,” Mohl said. “It’s inhumane and in the state of Ohio, especially, the confusion with the death-dealing drugs has been disgraceful and the number of people who have been proven innocent sometimes after they were offed is startling.”
Mohl said each day of the walk will feature an introspective of sorts.
“There will be talks all the way along the line,” Mohl said. “Every evening will end with music and keynoters.”
Mohl said there is also a plan for when they arrive at the Statehouse.
“On the steps we will basically provide signage and speakers that will urge people to think about this,” Mohl said.
Mohl said the public is invited to participate in as much or as little of the event as they desire.
“The event down at the Electrician’s Hall on lower Offnere is open to everyone,” Mohl said. “They can come and take part in the meal and the panel discussion about why this is important and how it would seem best to go about making a difference.”
Mohl said anyone in the public can take part in the movement in several ways. They can attend the meal and the discussion and share their opinion on the subject and they can take a few steps from Lucasville in a show of solidarity.
The meal and discussion will take place from 6-8 p.m. at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers hall at 110 Offnere Street in Portsmouth. The walk will begin at 9 a.m. in front of SOCF.
More information is available at walktostopexecutions.org or by calling Eric and Lorrie at 606-932-2383.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.
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