Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2012-01-13


Anti-death penalty advocate Bud Welch will speak to students at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law on Thursday, Jan. 26. The public is invited to the 3 p.m. event in the moot court room of Robinson law building.

Welch, whose 23-year-old daughter was killed in the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla., will discuss his personal journey of forgiveness and his work in anti-death penalty causes.

In the months after his daughter Julie Marie’s death, Welch changed from supporting the death penalty for Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols to taking a public stand against it.  He has become a frequent speaker and participant in causes such as The Forgiveness Project, which promotes forgiveness and alternatives to conflict and revenge.

A retired owner of gas stations in Oklahoma City, the 72-year-old Welch is a board member of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and is president of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights. He frequently testifies before state legislatures and other groups to lobby for abolishing the death penalty.

Welch will be in Birmingham to participate in the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association annual “Loosening the Death Belt” seminar Jan. 27-28 at Embassy Suites in Hoover.  That event is co-sponsored by Cumberland, the University of Alabama School of Law and the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Representation Project.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.