Sunday is World Day Against the Death Penalty
October 10 is World Day Against the Death Penalty. The theme this year is women on death row. Many organizations are hosting on-line events. Here’s a run-down of those we know about, along with registration links:
Sadly, we missed events earlier this week by the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide.
October 7 to 27: Multiple events as part of Ohio’s campaign to abolish the death penalty. Click here for details.
Sunday, Oct 10 at 2pm EDT: Women Sentenced to Death: An Invisible Reality. Death Penalty Action, Journey of Hope …From Violence to Healing and the Ohio Council of Churches invite you to a conversation with Sabrina Van Tassel, producer of the acclaimed film “The State of Texas vs. Melissa,” an award-winning documentary about Mellisa Lucio, an innocent Texas death row prisoner. Featured guests also include Rhonda LeBroi, sister of Paula Cooper and Walter C. Long, who advocated for clemency for Karla Fay Tucker. Register here.
Sunday, Oct 10 at 4pm: Faith and the Death Penalty: Join the North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NCCADP) on October 10th, 4–5 pm, for “Faith and the Death Penalty”, an online conversation about faith with those most impacted by our capital punishment system. Panelists include George Wilkerson, who is living on North Carolina’s death row; Andre Smith, who has survived the murder of a loved one; and Death Penalty Action Board Member Reverend Sharon Risher, who lost her mother and two cousins in the shooting at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston. Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove, noted writer and leader in the Red Letter Christian movement and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, will bring his perspective as moderator of the panel. This event is co-hosted by the North Carolina Council of Churches. Register here.
Sunday, Oct 10 at 6pm EDT: ‘It Could Happen To You’ — Film Premiere and Panel Discussion with special guests: Join Sir Richard Branson, Sabrina Butler-Smith and Celia Ouellette for the premiere event of the film series ‘It Could Happen To You’. Following the screening of this incredible film, hear from the inspiring woman at the center of the story herself, Sabrina Butler-Smith. You’ll also hear from Sir Richard Branson and Celia Oullette, both vocal advocates for a fair justice system. Attendees will be able to participate in a live Q&A with the speakers. Join the panel discussion and let’s find out how, and if, this is the justice system we deserve. Because It Could Happen To You. Register here.
Sunday, Oct 10 at 6pm PDT/9pm EDT: Honoring Women Loved Ones. Please join Amnesty International USA Group 30 and friends for an important panel discussion about the death penalty and life without parole (LWOP — the other death penalty) with four amazing women whose loved ones are on death row or serving LWOP in California. Learn what the death penalty and LWOP have in common and what distinguishes them from each other. Hear about important legislation and what you can do to help abolish the death penalty and LWOP in California. Register here.
Monday, Oct 11 at 4:30pm EDT: The Death Penalty; Not In My Name: A Death Row Survivor and a Professor of Law share their personal experiences with capital punishment and how they plan to end it. Ray Krone was sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. Ray’s conviction was due in part to the prosecution’s use of “junk science.” Ray is the co-founder of Witness to Innocence, the organization that helps to empower death row exonerees to share their individual experiences as they fight to end the use of capital punishment. Akin Adepoju is a criminal defense attorney who has handled cases from pre-arrest through trials, appeals, and even to the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. Akin is Chair of the Board of Directors at Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Both men are fighting to end the death penalty. Hear their stories, ask questions, and be inspired. Rebecca Diaz has organized this event as her project for her Gold Award, the highest level of achievement in the Girl Scouts of America. Becca will be moderating the panel discussion. Register here.
Tuesday, Oct 12 at 5pm EDT: Virtual Vigil for the execution of Stephen Barbee. CANCELLED!
Tuesday, Oct 12 at 7pm EDT: Please join ARC, Inc. for its Together Towards Justice Event on October 12 at 7 pm ET. This is a virtual gathering to celebrate excellence in mitigation. This year’s keynote address will be given by attorney and career-long advocate for meaningful criminal justice reform, Stephen Bright. The program will also include writer, artist, activist, and leading voice for juvenile justice, Halim Flowers who is a former ARC, Inc. client and now a friend. Tickets can be purchased here.
Tuesday, Oct 12 at 7pm and Wednesday, Oct 13 at 9:30pm: Vigil for Justice at the US Supreme Court: THIS IS AN IN-PERSON EVENT. If possible we will Livestream it on the Death Penalty Action Facebook Page. In 2015, a jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by lethal injection. However, this decision was overturned by an appeals court, which determined that Tsarnaev’s rights were violated because the original trial judge had failed to exclude jurors who had already concluded that he was guilty. Last October, Donald Trump’s Justice Department requested that the Supreme Court review the case and reinstate Tsarnaev’s death sentence. On October 12th and 13th, join Rehumanize International, Death Penalty Action, and other allies to hold two vigils outside the Supreme Court calling for forgiveness and mercy.
- October 12th we will gather at 7 PM outside the court. We will have candles and hold a brief vigil to remember those killed and injured at the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
- October 13th we will meet at 9:30 AM to rally and hold signs calling the court to choose life, justice, and mercy.
Thursday, Oct 14 at 12:30pm EDT: Voices of Experience on the Death Penalty: Right Here, Right Now: Life Stories from America’s Death Row. This program will feature Lynden Harris, Founder and Director of Hidden Voices, and Kathryn Hunter Williams, Associate Director of Hidden Voices for a conversation about their work and their new book, Right Here, Right Now: Life Stories from America’s Death Row. Register here.
Friday, October 15 at 3pm EDT: Women on Death Row, co-sponsored by Death Penalty Action, Death Penalty Focus & Witness to Innocence, featuring Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition To Abolish the Death Penalty, and death row survivors (Death Penalty Action Advisory Board Member) Sunny Jacobs and Witness to Innocence member Sabrina Butler-Smith. They will be discussing their experiences in the criminal justice system, their journey to freedom, and how they have dedicated themselves to ending the death penalty. Register here.
Sunday, Oct 17 at 2pm EDT: #NoDeathPenaltyOhio: A worship service in advance of Ohio’s Death Penalty Abolition lobby week sponsored by Death Penalty Action, Journey of Hope …From Violence to Healing and the Ohio Council of Churches, featuring Death Penalty Action Board Member Rev. Sharon Risher, whose mother was killed in the 2015 church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, and Death Penalty Action Advisory Board Chairman Shane Claiborne, founder of Red Letter Christians. Register here.
Thursday, October 21 at 5pm CDT: Virtual Execution Vigil for Willie Smith in Alabama. A live, informative and prayerful on-line vigil will begin at 5pm CDT. Register here to be a part of the live audience, or watch on the Death Penalty Action Facebook Page.
Death Penalty Action will be in Washington, DC next week, and back in Oklahoma at the end of the month.
Yours in the Struggle,
Abraham J. Bonowitz, Director, Death Penalty Action
PS: There are six more executions scheduled before the end of the year. Please support Death Penalty Action’s work to shine the spotlight on executions in the United States.