PROTESTING FEDERAL EXECUTIONS, TERRE HAUTE FORUM, STAGED READING IN NYC TO GO ON AS SCHEDULED
“We are very pleased to not be staging protests outside the prison at the unnecessary resumption of federal executions,”
Death Penalty Action // Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Abraham Bonowitz — 561–371–5204 — abe@DeathPenaltyAction.org
TERRE HAUTE FORUM, STAGED READING IN NYC TO GO ON AS SCHEDULED
Experts and Voices of Experience on the Death Penalty to Decry Federal Executions
Terre Haute, IN — December 6, 2019: While applauding the order of the US Supreme Court upholding the injunction keeping federal executions from proceeding next week, organizers of several events protesting federal executions plan to go forward with their events in Terre Haute, Indiana and New York City.
“We are very pleased to not be staging protests outside the prison at the unnecessary resumption of federal executions,” said Abraham Bonowitz, co-director of Death Penalty Action, a national organization mobilizing grassroots activism and public education opposing executions. “We know this may only be a temporary delay. These events will continue to build opposition to federal executions and enhance the movement to end the death penalty in the United States. We applaud the work of the attorneys to preserve the rights of the men facing execution by the federal government.”
The two events will be live-streamed. The Terre Haute event begins at 1pm and the NYC event begins at 3pm on Sunday, December 8, 2019. Press releases with details on each event are below.
Terre Haute Event Press Release
Death Penalty Action
Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact:
Abraham Bonowitz — 561–371–5204 — abe@DeathPenaltyAction.org
TERRE HAUTE FORUM TO FEATURE FAMILY OF VICTIMS OF MAN TO BE EXECUTED
Experts and Voices of Experience on the Death Penalty to Decry Federal Executions
Terre Haute, IN — December 5, 2019: Speakers from local and national organizations will address perspectives on human rights and the death penalty at a December 8th public forum in Terre Haute, Indiana as the possibility of federal executions is visited upon the Vigo County community. Speakers include faith leaders, murder victim family members (including the sister of Nancy Mueller, one of the victims of Daniel Lee), family members of people facing execution, and organizational leaders. See the full speaker list on the event web page.
The State of Injustice: International Human Rights Day Death Penalty Forum
1pm to 5pm, Sunday, December 8, 2019
St. Benedict Catholic Church, Hellmann Hall
111 S. 9th St., Terre Haute, IN
This event will be followed by a short highly visual protest march to, and candle light vigil at, the nearby Federal Courthouse. If the execution of Daniel Lee is not definitively stayed, a press conference will precede the march and vigil. All noted events will be live-streamed on the Death Penalty Action and Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance facebook pages.
“The juxtaposition of execution dates set on December 9, 11 and 13 with International Human Rights Day on December 10 set the stage for this event,” said Abraham Bonowitz, co-director Death Penalty Action. Other participating national organizations include faith groups like the Sisters of Providence, the Catholic Mobilizing Network, Pax Christi USA and human/civil rights groups such as Amnesty International, the NAACP and Journey of Hope… From Violence to Healing, an organization led by murder victim family members opposed to the death penalty. The full list of endorsing and sponsoring organizations is on the event web page.
Among the participants in the forum will be Kimma and/or Lance Gurel. Kimma’s sister Nancy Mueller, as well as Nancy’s husband William and their eight-year-old daughter Sarah are the victims of Chevie Kehoe and Daniel Lee. Daniel Lee is scheduled to be executed in Terre Haute on December 9, 2019, in what could become the first federal execution since 2003. Kehoe, Lee’s co-defendant and the actual killer, did not receive a death sentence. The family of the victims in this case has been outspoken in their opposition to the death penalty and have appealed to the President for clemency. Kimma & Lance’s daughter Monica and granddaughter Abigail may also be present at the forum depending on their travel schedule.
Rodrick Reed is the brother of innocent Texas prisoner Rodney Reed. Reed’s November execution date was halted after a massive outpouring of public concern, including two days of feature programming on the Doctor Phil show, bi-partisan support from numerous Texas state and national legislators, law enforcement professionals, and such disparate national figures as Ted Cruz and Kim Kardashian West.
Charles Keith is the brother of Ohio prisoner Kevin Keith, whose death sentence was commuted in 2010 by then-Governor Ted Strickland within 13 days of his scheduled execution. Keith’s case is currently pending before the US District Court of Appeals in Ohio.
Reed and Keith will give updates on the status of their brothers cases and share perspectives on capital punishment.
This event is coordinated by Death Penalty Action and the local Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance network, which has been led by Sister Barbara Battista of the Sisters of Providence. The groups have together been working to prepare the local community for the impact of federal executions on the local community and prison employees. Many of the organizers and local organizations came together in recognition of the impact of federal executions and their aftermath on the local community and citizens, particularly around the execution of the Oklahoma City Bomber in 2001.
Death Penalty Action has established petitions to Congress and President Trump and has been encouraging protest of the resumption of federal executions. While most local efforts were cancelled or suspended when the executions were stayed, several events remain scheduled around the country and are listed on the Death Penalty Action Federal Executions web page.
The public is welcome to attend this free event. Registration is strongly advised via the link on the event web page.
NYC “I Am Troy Davis” Press Release
Contact: Jennie Sheeks at email@example.com, 215–251–6070 or Jen Marlowe at firstname.lastname@example.org, 202–375–3492
Family Members of Emmett Till, Eric Garner, Kalief Browder, Oscar Grant, and Yusef Salaam join with Death Row Exonerees for Theatrical Protest “I Am Troy Davis”
Performers (available for interview): Sabrina Butler (exonerated from MS death row), Shujaa Graham (exonerated from CA death row) and Lawrence Hayes (survivor of NY death row), Aisha Salaam (sister of Yusef Salaam, wrongfully convicted in the Central Park 5 case), Gwen Carr (the mother of Eric Garner, killed by NYC Police in 2014), Uncle Bobby X (uncle of Oscar Grant, killed by BART police in 2012), Akeem Browder (brother of Kalief Browder, a 16-year-old held in Rikers in pre-trial solitary confinement who later killed himself), Ron Davis (father of Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old shot and killed in 2012 in FL), Yvette Allen (sister of Billie Allen on federal death row with innocence claims), Delia Perez Meyer (sister of Louis Castro Perez, on TX death row with innocence claims), and Airickca Gordon-Taylor (cousin of Emmett Till, a 14-year old lynched in MS in 1955).
(New York, NY) on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 3:00pm a cast of people who have been directly impacted by the death penalty, mass incarceration, and state and racial violence will perform I Am Troy Davis (by Phillip Montgomery, based on the book by Jen Marlowe and Martina Davis-Correia with Troy Davis) which tells the story of Troy Davis, an innocent man executed in Georgia in 2011.
Among the performers are two people who themselves sat innocent on death row before being exonerated. “I wish I could say that it is rare for innocent people to be convicted and sentenced to death. But it’s not.” — Sabrina Butler-Smith, first woman to be exonerated from death row in the US.
The performance draws connections between capital punishment and wider systems of state and racial violence. “The system that killed Troy is the same system responsible for Yusef Salaam and the other Central Park 5 exonerees spending a combined 44 years in prison. The legal lynching that claimed my brother’s life shares deep roots with the lynching that took the life of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, the violent racism that lead to the murder of 17-year-old Jordan Davis in 2012, and the police violence that lead to the murders of Oscar Grant in 2012 and Eric Garner in 2014. Troy’s suffering is connected to the torture endured by 16-year old Kalief Browder, who was held in solitary confinement at Rikers.” — Ebony Davis, Troy Davis’ sister.
Though public support for the death penalty is at an all-time low according to a recent Gallup Poll, four federal executions were scheduled after a 16 year haitus. I Am Troy Davis is a theatrical protest of these and all executions.The event will also feature the art work of Billie Allen, a man on federal death row with an innocence case.
WHO: Three death row survivors, family members of two men currently on death row, and family members of victims of violence including: Troy Davis, Emmett Till, Eric Garner, Yusef Salaam, Oscar Grant, Jordan Davis, and Kalief Browder.
WHAT: I Am Troy Davis performance followed by a discussion with the performers.
WHEN: The performance is on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 3:00–5:00. The performers, as well as members of Troy Davis’s family, are available for in-person or telephone interview by appointment Thursday, December 5–9, 2019.
WHERE: Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre in the West Village (224 Waverly Place, NY NY 10014)
A livestream of the performance can be viewed via: www.donkeysaddle.org
Donkeysaddle Projects is producing the I Am Troy Davis event in partnership with the 8th Amendment Project, Amnesty International USA, Blackbird, Death Penalty Action, the Jordan Davis Foundation, Legal Defense Fund, the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, the People’s Forum, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Sankofa and Witness to Innocence.