Members of Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation of Kansas and the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty will hold a commemoration ceremony Tuesday, April 23, 2013.
The annual ceremony observes the anniversary of the Kansas Legislature's decision to reinstate the death penalty in 1994. The day after the legislation passed in 1994, advocates from Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation of Kansas and the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty planted a cottonwood tree as a symbol of non-violent opposition to state-sponsored executions. Every year on April 23, death penalty repeal supporters gather at the memorial tree to rededicate themselves to the effort to repeal the death penalty and to remember murder victims and their families.
This year, Rev. Dr. Scott Kenefake of Central Congregational Church in Topeka will open the ceremony, which will include music, candle lighting and a reading of the names of murder victims. Carolyn Zimmerman of Topeka, who lost her father to homicide, will also speak.
The Ceremony of Remembrance and Healing will be held at the Memorial Tree, 1176 SW Warren Ave. Topeka, Kan. 66604. The event is free and open to the public.