Local News

Death penalty foes to march to N.C. coast

Posted June 14, 2009 6:20 p.m. EDT
Updated June 14, 2009 11:36 p.m. EDT

— The Sojourners for Abolition and Reconciliation started their annual march Sunday to protest the death penalty.

“I don't think that it's the state's place to take life,” death penalty opponent Mary Rider said.

Last year, the Christian-based group walked 300 miles from Raleigh to Washington, DC. This year, they are walking from Raleigh to the North Carolina coast and back.

“That will bring a kind of a ripple effect where people will hear our message who might not have heard it otherwise,” Rider said.

“We're not trying to impose our view on anybody, but we really do want to talk to people,” said Scott Bass, SOFAR walk organizer.

Wayne Uber, a Chapel Hill resident, has personal reasons for backing the death penalty. His twin brother, Jeffrey, was slain in Florida over some credit cards, and the killer received a life sentence.

“There are people out there who have strong feelings about this, but they haven't been here. They haven't seen what other victims go through. They just aren't qualified to comment on it,” Uber said.

The state is under a moratorium on executions because of problems with lethal injection as the execution method.

“The death penalty is not the solution that helps anybody, but only adds more violence to situations that are oftentimes senselessly violent and tragic already,” Bass said.

There are 167 inmates on death row in North Carolina, according to Death Penalty Information Center.

The SOFAR marchers will be back in Raleigh in about two weeks to rally in front of the General Assembly.