An update from DeathPenaltyAction.org
Good morning. Sort of.
Thank you for taking action to protest the execution of Donnie Lance in Georgia, which was completed at 9:05pm EST last night. Pictured above are protesters who stood vigil at Marietta Square, a bit north of Atlanta. (Thank you, Kathy Lane Wood and friends.)
Our prayers and healing thoughts go to the families of the victims and of Donnie Lance, which in this case were many of the same people. We also wish for healing for the staff of the Georgia Department of Corrections, whose job it is to unnecessarily kill a defenseless human being. No state worker should have to assume that life-long burden.
Your protest was not unheard.
- Death Penalty Action delivered your petitions to a person with whom we have built a relationship inside Governor Kemp’s office. Our contact acknowledged the petition and promised to make sure the right people see it.
- Your calls created a stir. Those of you who called received several reactions. Early callers were told to call the Board of Pardons and Paroles and then transferred into a black hole. We advised callers to ask to leave a message for the Governor, and many of us were able to speak to a real person. This was unexpected in the governor’s office. We’re pretty sure they are talking about it today.
- Our message was in the media. Abe is quoted, here.
The story we are told that “it’s out of the governor’s hands,” is only true if we allow it to be. Yes, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has the final say about clemency in that state. The fact is that the governor appoints the members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. He can choose to appoint members who will take valid claims and concerns more seriously, instead of acting like rubber-stamping gate-keepers. He can choose to indicate that he wants them to take these cases more seriously. Yesterday, because of you, we put them on notice. We are exploring how to continue on this path going forward. Thank you.
When you have been doing this for a long time, as we have, it’s easy to just keep going about your business. But really, it is important to take the time to contemplate, breathe, and recommit to the struggle. In June we witnessed the 1500th execution in the United States since 1977. Death Penalty Action Co-Director Scott Langley (above, in red) was there at the prison in Georgia when that happened. We know the death penalty is on its way out in this country. We must stay strong in this struggle and see it all the way to the end. So what can we do?
Keep standing up in opposition to executions.
- Death Penalty Action protests every execution. Click here to sign the petitions for the execution in Texas next week, and the execution in Tennessee on February 20.
- Plan now to participate in other protests, such as the 27th Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at the US Supreme Court, and/or Tennessee’s March4Mercy (next march tentatively set on Feb. 16, but click through to order postcards you and your community can send to Governor Lee).
- Support the work. Click now to help Death Penalty Action, and please also consider our friends at New Hope House in Georgia, which supports the families of the men on Georgia’s death row.
Let us know how we can support your efforts where you live by replying to this message.
Together we are making a difference.
Scott & Abe, Co-Directors