An exonerated man and the parents of an inmate on death row shared their stories at the Reggie Clemons Death Penalty Speaker Series hosted by Webster University’s Amnesty International organization from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on March 1.
The Emerson Library Conference room was packed as three guest speakers spoke out concerning the abolition of the death penalty. Laura Moye is Amnesty International USA’s death penalty campaign coordinator. With a power point presentation, Moye gave an overview of the death penalty and reasons for why it is unsupported.
After Moye, a man exonerated from death row named Randy Steidl spoke about his journey through unfair and corrupt trials and investigations. Steidl was incarcerated for 17 years, (12 being on death row) before being released, after he was proven innocent.
“How many of you out there have ever been accused for something you didn’t do? “ Steidl said. “Remember that pain and that feeling, that hurt, when you plead your case and nobody would listen to you. Well try multiplying that about a billion times.”
Vera Thomas, the mother of current death row inmate, Reginald Clemons, spoke about her sons experience with corrupt practices through investigations and the flaws of the U.S. death penalty system.
“I experienced being on a death penalty jury 30 years ago, not even dreaming I would experience the very thing,” Thomas said.
The floor was opened to audience questioning at the end of the presentation.
Find the full story in the next print issue of The Journal.
For audio of the speaker series, click below.
Released from Death Row – Randy Steidl’s inspiring story by wujournal