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Letter from Ohio Homicide Survivors

Letter from Ohio Homicide Survivors and Victim Advocates to House & Senate Leadership regarding implementation of section six of Substitute HB 663 in the 130th General Assembly.

March 31, 2015

Senate President Keith Faber
Speaker of the House Clifford A. Rosenberger
Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni
House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn

Dear President Faber, Speaker Rosenberger, Senate Leader Schiavoni and House Leader Strahorn,

Section six of Substitute HB 663, passed in December 2014 by the 130th General Assembly, enacts recommendation 19 of the Supreme Court Joint Task Force on the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty. The legislation establishes a joint committee to be appointed by you “…to study the manner in which families of homicide victims in this state can best be supported by government programs, social service entities, and charitable organizations…” We are writing to encourage you to establish this committee as soon as possible.

As the family members of homicide victims who have experienced the aftermath of homicide, and as staff and volunteers of organizations which provide services to, or who work with, homicide victims’ survivors, we want to help ensure that your research is extensive and thorough. We understand the very real emotional, physical, financial and life difficulties that victims’ families go through after a homicide. We stand ready to offer examples of best practices and standards; to provide the committee with details and experiences related to these issues as they presently exist; and to advise you on improvements for your consideration.

We believe this is an excellent opportunity to improve how the State of Ohio meets the needs of its citizens as they deal with the aftermath and unimaginable pain of losing a loved one to homicide. We look forward to working with you.


Julie Broadwell
Program Manager, SAAFE Center (Wood County’s rape crisis center)

Phyllis L Carlson-Riehm
Executive Director, ACTION OHIO Coalition For Battered Women

Katie Hanna
Executive Director, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence

Yvonne Pointer, mother of murder victim Gloria Pointer Founder, Positive Plus
Co-Founder, Parents Against Child Killing

David Voth
Executive Director, Crime Victim Services

Kathleen Baka, Daughter-in-law of murder victim June Ramsey
Sharon Blevins, Mother of murder victim Allison Raquel Blevins-Johnson
Joe Byrne, Husband of murder victim Sherry Byrne
Melinda Elkins Dawson, Daughter of murder victim Judith Johnson
Sheila Halton, Mother of murder victim Stephen Douglas Halton Jr.
Stephen Douglas Halton Sr., Father of murder victim Stephen Douglas Halton Jr. Jayleen L. Hatmaker, mother of murder victim Cameron Robinson
Carolyn E. Jenkins, Daughter of murder victim Cleophus Jenkins
Charles Keith, Brother of murder victim Durad Keith
Katherine King, Niece of murder victim Erna Drewitz
Helen Kopp, Sister of murder victim Joseph Kopp
J. Kathryn Lukey, Sister of murder victim William Heidenreich
Nancy Rowles, Brother of murder victim Alfred DiSalvo
Sam Reese Sheppard, Son of murder victim Marilyn Reese Sheppard
Dee Dee Tufts, Family member of murder victim Russell K. Carter Sr.
Rev. Dr. Chrystal Walker, mother of murder victim Edward Michael Powers
Melissa Reese Weigle, 2nd Cousin of murder victim (“Aunt”) Marilyn Reese Sheppard

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