The hard truth is that if the issue is victim families being able to witness, there is precedent for victims families viewing the execution by closed circuit tv.
On Friday, your petition signatures were delivered to the White House and Congress.
Then, at the end of the day, a federal judge in Indiana issued a stay in the case of Daniel Lee, who is scheduled to be the first federal prisoner executed since 2003. There was a moment of elated relief, but we must not let our guard down.
This stay came about because a single judge agreed with the family of the victims in this case when they argued they have a right to be present. They rightly feel it is too dangerous to travel or be in the prisons due to COVID-19. (Check out and share this AMAZING video about the realities of COVID-19 and a single execution, from the ACLU.)
The government made an immediate “emergency appeal” to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. A lot will depend on the panel of judges drawn to hear the case. Whoever loses at the 7th Circuit will appeal to the US Supreme Court. This is likely to go to Monday afternoon before it is settled one way or the other. The hard truth is that if the issue is victim families being able to witness, there is precedent for victims families viewing the execution by closed circuit tv.
As you probably know, this past Wednesday in the Texas case of Billy Wardlow, there were three motions pending before the US Supreme Court. The execution time came and went before the motions were denied. The prisoner was dead less than an hour later.
Welcome to the roller coaster of the death penalty.
Death Penalty Action co-director Scott Langley begins driving toward Terre Haute today from his home in upstate New York. Abe Bonowitz will head west from Columbus, Ohio on Sunday evening. Death Penalty Action will continue to keep watch for you, and we will issue news and action updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages as available between now and Monday. We must hope and pray for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Earlier Friday afternoon, Death Penalty Action issued a press release with details for the protest plans, both locally in Terre Haute and there are also several live-stream vigils you can watch via the internet on Sunday evening and Monday afternoon. Details are here.
Together with local leaders, we have decided NOT to accept the protest “accommodations” of the Bureau of Prisons. We have other plans, as outlined in the press release.
Because of YOU, Death Penalty Action will be there on Monday. Thank you.
What more can you do?
- Share THIS web page and encourage others to get involved. Petitions and other actions you may take or share to protest these executions at http://deathpenaltyaction.org/federal-death-penalty. That page includes information about on-line prayer and protest vigils you can connect with.
- READ and share “Activists speak out against upcoming executions.”
- READ and share Death Penalty Action’s co-Director Abraham Bonowitz op-ed in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, raising concerns about executions in light of the pandemic, and calling out the true political nature of the timing of these execution dates.
- Please help us spread the word by sharing this sample post on your social media:
Flashpoint: #Trump is playing politics with the #DeathPenalty by scheduling executions in the middle of #COVID as a way to stoke his base before the political conventions. https://www.tribstar.com/opinion/flashpoint/flashpoint-trump-is-playing-politics-with-the-death-penalty/article_cdab851c-bfd4-11ea-ba68-47c8be824451.html | #StopExecutions #NoFederalExecutions #DefundTheDeathPenalty
Will you help us?
A generous supporter will match 200% of all donations to Death Penalty Action by July 30, 2020, up to $12K. More than $8,000 has been raised so far. Please donate generously today!
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PS: Like what we do? Help make it happen with your donation today, here! ANNOUNCING — TRIPLE YOUR DOLLARS! A generous supporter will match 200% of all donations to Death Penalty Action by July 30, 2020, up to $12K. Please donate generously today!