(Scroll down for our 2019 summary & photos)

Great News! Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to vacate the preliminary injunction ordered by the District Court a few weeks ago, prohibiting the government from carrying out the first federal executions since 2003. Unless a higher court reverses this, it appears we will not see any federal executions in 2019!

Special #GivingTuesday Link.

In 2017, Death Penalty Action (DPA) was founded in anticipation of the real possibility that the Trump Administration would resume federal executions after a 15+ year hiatus. That anticipation became reality when in July of this year, it was announced that the U.S. Government would be seeking the execution of five federal prisoners. Legal challenges have stopped them all… for now. But we remain vigilant — as the matter is not fully settled yet.

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Death Penalty Action is, right now, on the ground in Tennessee, supporting work to stop the next US execution. Lee Hall, Jr., a blind man who can no longer hurt anyone, is scheduled to die in the electric chair on Thursday evening. More about Tennessee’s #March4Mercy is here.

In the time since DPA was started almost 3 years ago, we have expanded our mission to include not only the work to stop federal executions, but to also provide high visibility resources, leadership, support — as well as plan educational and direct action events and activities — within the broader death penalty abolition movement.

This second year of operating has been a big one. We have been directly involved in critical work and campaigns in Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Washington DC, Texas, Indiana, and more. We have been in the middle of some of the most amazing, uplifting victories, but also have witnessed some heartbreaking defeats. You can read below a summary of what we have been up to in 2019.

We need your help to continue this important work.

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We started Death Penalty Action in anticipation of federal executions resuming under the new president. Soon after we decided to create Death Penalty Action, we found ourselves invited to Little Rock, AR. Arkansas decided to execute 8 men in 11 days just to use up their stash of soon-to-expire lethal injection drugs. Death Penalty Action provided an element that had been missing in the anti-death penalty movement — an organization dedicated to supporting grassroots activists and lifting up the visibility of our message via direct action. See our action report here.

The two of us that manage these endeavors are two passion-driven individuals making a difference in the world by using our time and energy to stop executions once and for all. We have committed to raising $50,000 in the coming weeks in order to cover our mounting expenses from this extraordinary work in 2019, and to compensate ourselves for the sweat and tears that we have put into it all. We receive none of the limited foundation grants focused on our movement, nor do we have regular funding other than what we piece together from friends and supporters like you.

May we count on you to make sure Death Penalty Action continues on the road ahead in 2020? Invest today at https://givingtuesday.mightycause.com/event/DPA.

Thank you.

Onward toward abolition!

Scott Langley & Abraham Bonowitz

Co-directors, Death Penalty Action

P.O. Box 89, Ghent, NY 12075


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deathpenaltyaction/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeathPenaltyAct


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Georgia — Death Penalty Action created action opportunities for abolitionists anywhere, supporting and shaping national media attention around the nation’s 1500th execution since 1977. We hand-delivered petitions from around the world to the Governor in a private meeting with staff in Atlanta. We also brought our team of leaders, including DPA Advisory Board members SueZann Bosler, a murder victim family member and Randy Gardner, the brother of a man who was executed, to the prison grounds during the execution, providing both “voices of experience” for the media to speak with, and more urgently, support for family of the man being executed.
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Ohio — Death Penalty Action provided instrumental behind-the-scenes support that has resulted in 2019 being completely execution-free in Ohio. We also managed the Ohio Journey of Hope… From Violence to Healing, which elevated the message that the death penalty does not serve the needs of murder victim family members. We generated media coverage statewide, conducted organizing/public education events in key legislative districts, and identified numerous new supporters and murder victim family members ready to raise their voices.
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Tennessee — Death Penalty Action has been working with allies who have long been involved in death row visitation. Frustrated at seeing their friends being executed and no longer willing to stand by, we’ve provided logistical support and leadership to develop the #March4Mercy, an ongoing project creating pressure on Tennessee governor Bill Lee.
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New Hampshire — We supported abolitionists campaigning to pass death penalty repeal legislation. Death Penalty Action participated in phone banking and rallies in the state in the months leading up to the repeal of the death penalty — making it the 21st state without a death penalty statute, and the last state in the Northeast region to formally abandon capital punishment.
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Washington DC — Death Penalty Action organizes and manages the annual Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty, a 4 day event in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Highlights at this year 26th Annual Starvin’ for Justice event included being joined by the family of Rodney Reed — an innocent man on Texas’s death row.
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Texas (and other states) — Death Penalty Action has been creating and disseminating various on-line petitions for scheduled executions — the guilty, the not-quite-so-guilty, and the innocent, including that of Rodney Reed. At the request of the family of Rodney Reed, DPA supported and managed media several rallies and an overnight vigil this fall at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC around the Reed case.
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Indiana/Federal — Death Penalty Action is the resource for grassroots opposition to federal executions. DPA is actively planning and organizing with allies in Terre Haute, Indiana (home of the federal death row and executgion chamber) to prepare for the possible federal executions that would take place there, if carried out. This includes organizing speaking engagements with Death Penalty Action Advisory Board Members Bill Pelke, a murder victim family member, and Jerry Givens, a former executioner. We also have helped craft a major convocation forum there for International Human Rights Day in December, which is coming up next Sunday!
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Death Penalty Action (DPA) provides high visibility resources, leadership, support, educational and direct action events and activities within the broader anti-death penalty movement. Join us. Click here to support Death Penalty Action today. Thank you!

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

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