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K-State Salina social work program offers educational conference on Kansas death penalty

Friday, Oct. 17, 2014


SALINA — An educational conference about capital punishment will be offered at Kansas State University Salina to find out more about both sides of the widely debated issue.

The Salina Regional Abolition Conference will be 3:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21. Two sessions, both open to the public, will be offered. Session one, beginning at 3:30 p.m., will feature the daughter of a murder victim and experts on the issue of capital punishment. It will be in rooms 108 and 169 of the Technology Center. Session two, starting at 6:30 p.m., will highlight a Missouri exoneree who spent 24 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. This session will be in the College Center conference room.

The conference is sponsored by the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty, which is a not-for-profit corporation that formed in 1989 by a group opposed to reinstating the death penalty in Kansas, and the social work program at K-State Salina.

"This is an important public issue in our state and nation," said David Norlin, instructor and coordinator for K-State Salina's social work program. "Our hope is this conference will facilitate each person's knowledge about capital punishment, so much so, that they are able to take a confident position on the topic and feel comfortable taking action if they are compelled."

K-State Salina's student organization, Social Work Wildcats, also is taking part in the event because those affected by incarceration are a likely population members of the group will serve after graduation.

"Social work is all about engaging with people, and understanding their needs, behaviors, ideas and thought processes is not something you can fully experience with a textbook,” said RayeAnn Underwood, senior in social work and president of the Social Work Wildcats. "Any opportunity students have with hands-on learning will support their efforts with clients in the future."

Kansas is one of 33 states with the death penalty, but the state did abolish it from 1907-1935 and 1972-1994. Since its current reinstatement, Kansas has sentenced 13 individuals to death, but no executions have taken place since 1965.

For more information on the Salina Regional Abolition Conference, contact Norlin at 785-826-2944 or ddnorlin@k-state.edu, or Kristin Bollig, Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty community coordinator, at 785-235-0210 or kristin@ksabolition.org.


David Norlin


Social work program

News tip


Written by

Julee Cobb

At a glance

A conference looking at both sides of the capital punishment issue will be presented from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Kansas State University Salina. The public is welcome to attend.