Former Executioner Turned Death Penalty Abolitionist Dies of COVID-19

As a corrections officer, he carried out 62 Virginia executions. Then he spent the last decade of his life working to end executions and abolish the death penalty.

Two weeks ago last night, Jerry Givens became the third member of his church choir to die of COVID-19. He was a friend and a founding member of Death Penalty Action’s Advisory Board. Jerry’s “Voice of Experience on the Death Penalty” was rare.

Help Continue Jerry’s Legacy.

On Sunday, The Intercept published a thorough reflection on Jerry’s impact in our movement, adding to the the articles published by the Associated Press, CNN and the Washington Post. Jerry’s work with Death Penalty Action was mentioned prominently in each. Please see links to these articles and more on our Jerry Givens Fund Tribute Page​.

Jerry’s family has invited those wishing to help further his legacy as a man who worked to preserve life and to stop state violence to contribute to Death Penalty Action in his honor. The Jerry Givens Fund will be used to lift up Jerry’s message and those of other “Voice of Experience on the Death Penalty.” Please give generously.

With hope, love and prayers for everyone impacted by the pandemic,

Shane Claiborne, Scott Langley and Abraham J. Bonowitz

Death Penalty Action

PS: Jerry Givens spent the last decade of his life working to stop executions and end the death penalty. Click here now to visit the Jerry Givens Fund Tribute Page to learn more and help carry on his legacy with your donation today​​!

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

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