Working with the Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty (MADP) organization, two speakers will come to William Woods University Thursday (Feb. 19) to talk about their own experiences with violent crimes and discuss their viewpoints on the death penalty.
Part of Road Trip for Justice, the event will take place at 4 p.m. in the Bernard Weitzman Model Courtroom on the lower level of the Burton Business Building. The event is free and open to the public.
Bess Klassen Landis was just 13 when her mother was raped and murdered. Nearly 40 years later, Landis is traveling the country sharing her story. Her religious background and knowledge of the death penalty system have caused her to be a death penalty opponent.
Ginger Masters’ husband was murdered in southwest Missouri. He left behind seven children. One person has been convicted and another faces a possible death sentence. Masters says her husband, who was a Buddhist, did not believe the death penalty was a fair application of justice. She, along with Landis, will discuss their emotional journeys and why they support alternatives to the death penalty.
Cynthia Kramer, associate professor of political science at WWU, believes this event is important to every American citizen.
“The law touches everyone’s life, every minute of every day. This is a big moral issue where there is no consensus. Discussing the issue is something that needs to be done,” she said.