Big Week in the News for Death Penalty Action!

Senator Dick Durbin introduced the companion legislation to the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2021 on March 3.

As promised, the past week was pretty big for us. Starting on March 1, we marked Abolition Day with a panel discussion featuring three people who have been changed forever by the death penalty: Charles Keith, Lisa Brown and Rev. Sharon Risher. Watch the recorded program on Facebook here.

We were featured twice in Newsweek. First, on Monday with Rev. Risher, who opposes the death penalty for Dylann Roof, the white supremacist now on federal death row who killed Rev. Risher’s aunt, two cousins and a friend among others in the 2015 massacre at Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston. On Thursday Newsweek featured a number of comments about the Biden Administration and the death penalty from our executive director, Abraham Bonowitz.

Also on Monday we released our new video narrated by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and we launched the Abolitionist Toolkit. This webpage is a one-stop-shop for all the tools you need to educate, organize, and take action to end the federal death penalty.

Executive Director Abraham Bonowitz was the featured guest in two podcasts: and the Common Good Podcast. Listed to learn the latest of what is happening on our issue and what people are doing about it.

And we couldn’t have timed it more perfectly — Senator Dick Durbin introduced the companion legislation to the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2021 on March 3. It is IMPERATIVE that our legislators hear from us at this critical time!

Register for our March webinar! This month, in recognition of Women’s History Month, our theme will be “Mothers, Daughters & Death Row”. Our panel will include:

Sabrina Butler-Smith, the first woman exoneree

Lisa Brown, the mother of Christopher Vialva who was executed by the federal government on September 24, 2020

Bethany Bourgeois-George, whose father, Alfred, was executed by the federal government on December 11, 2020

Melinda Dawson, who lost her mother to murder and her husband was wrongfully accused

We hope you’ll join us for this poignant conversation! Register here.

As part of our partnership with Red Letter Christians, DPA’s advisory board chair, Shane Claiborne, is putting the spotlight on the death penalty & Christianity as we approach Good Friday, when Jesus was executed. This is part of Red Letter Christian’s Faith Forum webinar series. The March 10th edition of the Faith Forum will feature two additional Death Penalty Action advisory board members: exonerated Ohio death row survivor Derrick Jamison and Journey of Hope… From Violence to Healing co-founder, SueZann Bosler. Derrick spent 20 years on Ohio’s death row for a crime he did not commit, and SueZann witnessed her father be stabbed to death and was herself stabbed and left for dead. SueZann is a leading spokesperson on the theme of the healing power of forgiveness. Join us on Wednesday, March 10 at 8pm for this powerful program!

HOW TO WATCH: This will be live-streamed on the Red Letter Christians and Death Penalty Action Facebook pages. You need not have a Facebook account to watch.

Our executive director, Abe Bonowitz, was featured on the Vote Common Good podcast talking about our campaign to end the federal death penalty this week. Check out the recording on Facebook here.

Ben was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, the product of two labor rights activists. He started his career in politics and organizing at the age of 3 in a stroller at a May Day parade. He graduated from Valparaiso University with a BS in mechanical engineering and received his master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago, where he focused on education policy, electoral campaigns, and survey research. Ben has spent the last few years organizing, fundraising, and working with both political campaigns and non-profits to be more effective. He started with Death Penalty Action last December to increase email fundraising and bring new digital fundraising techniques to the team.

Write your member of Congress and tell them you do not support the federal death penalty!

Live in Wyoming? Write your legislator and tell them you support repealing the death penalty!

The South Carolina Senate has passed legislation to allow for alternative methods of execution, including burning prisoners to death in the electric chair, or shooting them with a firing squad. The bill moves on to the South Carolina House of Representatives the week of March 8, 2021. Live in South Carolina? Please use this tool to write to your representative in the South Carolina House of Representatives to let them know how you feel.

Urge Governor Northam to sign the bill to repeal Virginia’s death penalty.

Melissa Lucio is an innocent woman on Texas’ death row! Click here to ask the Texas Parole Board & Governor Abbott to grant clemency.

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Death Penalty Action provides high visibility resources, leadership and support in order to stop executions.

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