Will the Federal Execution Spree Resume on International Human Rights Day?

Death Penalty Action
3 min readDec 10, 2020

It’s International Human Rights Day. Will the White House be a crime scene? Or the Department of inJustice? By 6pm today, we’ll know.

With tonight being the first night of Chanukah, what’s the juxtaposition between the Jewish festival of lights, International Human Rights Day, and the resumption of the Federal Execution Spree? Death Penalty Action got the answer published in Tikkun Magazine. Check it out!

I’ve arrived in DC with Death Penalty Action Advisory Board Member Doug Pagitt and Advisory Board Chairman Shane Claiborne. Together with Marilyn Stark, Gary Witte, Patrick Carolan, Lauren Bailey, Art Laffin and others… If the executions are not called off by noon today, with masks on and keeping our distance we’ll be cordoning off the Department of inJustice with crime scene tape in a symbolic, nonviolent direct action to draw attention to the fact of this execution on International Human Rights Day. Join us if you are in the DC area. Details are at bit.ly/protestDC.

Chip In To Help Spread The Message.

Yesterday we urged you to call the White House to politely ask President Trump to stop the execution of Brandon Bernard. So many of you responded that for a brief while, they closed the White House switchboard! Nancy shared her experience:

“I have called the White House. The switch board there immediately says to either write a letter or send an email. They hung up. I called back, begging the switchboard operator to deliver a message to Trump. I was interrupted and directed to the Department of Justice. No luck there either. I called the White House again. No luck. I am a 68 year old grandmother with a life long opposition to the death penalty. I said some things that I shouldn’t have. These people make me sick. Thanks for listening.”

It’s not too late. Please respectfully and politely continue to call the White House to urge that President Trump grant clemency to Brandon Bernard and the other four prisoners scheduled to be executed soon. Here is the number for the Switchboard, which is the only way for us regular folks to speak with a live human being at the White House: 202–456–1414. Politely give your comment to the operator.


The Human Rights in Crisis: U.S. Federal Execution Spree Virtual Conference continues with panels today at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and a live Virtual Vigil for Brandon Bernard from 5pm to 7pm. Click here for all of the details, to join the growing list of sponsors, and/or to register to receive the ZOOM link.

  • 11am EST: Hear the international perspective on the US Federal Execution Spree from representatives of The World Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, The International Commission Against the Death Penalty, the Council of Europe, and the Death Penalty Information Center. DPA Advisory Board Member Ari Kohen moderates!
  • 1pm EST: Hear from an amazing panel of friends who provide spiritual support to prisoners on death row. Indiana Abolition Coalition President Stephanie Quiring moderates!
  • 3pm EST: Our friends from EJUSA take the main stage to unveil their new Spanish language web site and an invigorated effort for our movement to impact fully engage with the LatinX Community. Featuring DPA Advisory Board Member Magdaleno M. Rose-Avila and the incredible Mona Cadena, am one other special guests!
  • 5pm to 7pm: Join the Virtual Vigil for Brandon Bernard, with LIVE presentations from Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC and the protest outside the prison at Terre Haute, Indiana: Virtual Panelists include Human Rights Professor Rick Halperin, Journey of Hope members SueZann Bosler and Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan Jr., and more… Hosted by our own Allison Cohen!

Register (FREE) to get the zoom link or watch the livestream on the Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistence Facebook page.

Click Here to Help Us Do This Work.

Many thanks!

— abe

Abraham J. Bonowitz

Director, Death Penalty Action

PS: Five federal executions remain scheduled in the coming weeks, and Death Penalty Action is leading the grassroots opposition. Sign and share our new petition urging president-elect Biden to speak out against the executions.

PPS: Please share our posts on Twitter, Facebook, and now on Instagram too!



Death Penalty Action

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