- President of the Board
On April 19, 1995, Bud Welchs 23-year-old daughter, Julie,
and 167 others were killed in the bomb blast that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah
building in Oklahoma City.
Bud had always opposed the death penalty but Julies death
prompted bouts of anger, pain, hatred and revenge. He longed to see Timothy
McVeigh (who was eventually tried and convicted of the bombing and executed)
After months of agony Bud began to question his desire for
revenge. He realized that nothing positive would arise from McVeighs execution.
It was hatred and revenge that made me want to see him dead and those two
things were the very reason that Julie and 167 others were dead, he says. He
also remembered Julies comments that executions were only teaching children to
Bud spent the next several years speaking out against the
death penalty in general and McVeighs execution in particular. He met Bill
McVeigh, Tims father, and the two formed a friendship that is being documented
in an upcoming film.
As an ardent abolitionist he has addressed the Russian
Duma, the British and the European Parliaments, and universities and groups
across Europe. He has testified twice before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee,
once in opposition to the habeas corpus reforms that were being proposed
and later passed as part of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.
He has testified before 22 state legislative bodies
including the Illinois house judiciary committee on that states death penalty
moratorium bill. His speeches at scores of universities and law schools center
on his hard-won stance against the death penalty. He is a board member of the
National Coalition Against the Death Penalty. He was a member of the Board of
Directors of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation and met with
President Clinton at the White House to present the plans for the national
He has been interviewed with Larry King and Bill Moyers
and appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, CBSs 60 Minutes and
Dateline NBC. He has written pieces for both Time and Newsweek.
Profiles of Bud have appeared in numerous magazines including Guideposts
Bud received the Abolitionist of the Year award
from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. He also received of
the Abolitionist of the Year Award in 1998 from the Oklahoma Coalition to
Abolish the Death Penalty; the Felton Humanitarian Award from Death Penalty
Focus; the Spirit of Compassion award of the Prison Action Committee in
Buffalo, New York; and the ACLU Oklahoma Foundation Anti-Death penalty/Prison
Project Award. He is also the recipient of the "2003 Reconciliation Award"
from California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty; the
"Frederick Douglass Equal Justice Award" from the Southern Center for Human
Rights in 2001; the "2001 Abolitionist of the Year Award" from Coloradoans
Against the Death Penalty; the "Golden K" of the Kiwanis Club in Decatur, IL in
2002; and he was presented with the Key to the City of Buffalo, NY in 1998 by
Mayor Anthony Masiello. He has participated in the Journey of Hope and
anti-death penalty activities and organizations.
Oklahoma City Memorial
Not in Our Name, homicide
survivors speak out against the death penalty at Harvard University, 1999
the story of Bud's response to the Oklahoma City bombing as told to Tom