Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bill Pelke in Columbia, South Carolina Wed. October 21st

Bill Pelke, internationally famous expert on the death penalty, will tell his story of forgiveness and healing.

WHAT: Journey of Hope ... From Violence to Healing

WHEN: Wednesday, October 21, 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Room 005, BA Building (Close/Hipp Bldg.), USC Campus, Columbia, SC

Bill Pelke is the president and co-founder of the Journey of Hope ... from Violence to Healing and has authored a book by the same name. He is a board member of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and served as chair from 2004-08. Bill is also a founding and present board member of Murder Victims Families for Human Rights, an incorporating board member of Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation, and serves on the boards of Alaskans Against the Death Penalty and the Journey of Hope. He is a cofounder of the Abolition Action Committee and the annual Fast and Vigil at the US Supreme Court.

In 1985 Bill’s grandmother, Ruth Pelke, was murdered by four ninth grade girls. Paula Cooper, who was fifteen years old at the time of the murder, was deemed to be the ringleader and sentenced to die in the electric chair by the state of Indiana.

Originally supportive of the judge’s decision, Bill went through a spiritual transformation which led to forgiveness and healing. Bill realized the death penalty was not the proper solution and worked successfully to have Cooper’s sentence commuted to 60 years in prison. She is still in prison today, but no longer under the sentence of death. Bill has dedicated his life to abolition of the death penalty.

Join us to hear Bill’s story on Wednesday evening, October 21 at 7:00p.m. in room 005 of the BA Building (the Close/Hipp Building) at the Darla Moore School of Business on the University of South Carolina campus. (You can find a map of the area including the Close/Hipp Building by going to here and typing “Business Administration” into the “Places” search box.) There will be time for questions, and refreshments will be provided.

Sponsored by South Carolinians Abolishing the Death Penalty (SCADP) and the USC Chapter of Amnesty International. For more information, see here or call 803-516-4681

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