Honoring Marie Deans

Marie McFadden Deans spent her adult life fighting against the death penalty. Her work took her onto South Carolina and Virginia’s death rows, where she became an advocate and a friend for the condemned men. And her dedication took her to the death house, where she stood “death watch” with 34 men. Marie’s work took a terrible toil on her health, and she died in April of 2011 at the relatively young age of 70.

Marie is buried in her family plot in the historic Sardinia-Gable Cemetery in Clarendon County, South Carolina. Because of the very modest size of her estate, Marie currently does not have a head stone on her grave.  Her friends, family and colleagues  are now raising money for a fitting memorial.  Please consider donating money to help them purchase a headstone so they can honor this wonderful woman and dedicated death penalty abolitionist.  Their hope is to raise $2500 by July 1, 2017.

Amnesty Charleston: Urgent: Stop Arkansas’ rush to execute 8 people in 10 days

Arkansas hasn’t had an execution in 12 years, so why the sudden rush? Simple: their lethal injection drugs are about to expire.

Arkansas has exactly eight doses left of a crucial drug used to perform lethal injections, and it’s set to expire at the end of April. So the governor scheduled eight executions packed into a ten day period — with two executions per day — as if the justice system was a conveyor belt. Take Action Continue reading

We need more prosecutors questioning their pursuit of the death penalty

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala announces that her office will no longer pursue the death penalty as a sentence.
By Scott Martelle  March 17, 2017

A recently elected prosecutor in Florida announced Thursday that she would unilaterally take the death penalty off the table for murder cases handled by her office, a decision that drew a stern rebuke from some quarters, and led Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove her from a pending case against an accused cop killer. But State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who represents two counties near Orlando, also drew accolades from others. Add me to the accolade list.

Continue reading: Los Angeles Times

Update: Florida governor reassigns cop-killing case after prosecutor refuses death penalty (Chicago Tribune)

Update (3/9) ORLANDO, Fla. — Gov. Rick Scott of Florida overreached last month when he issued an executive order stripping a state attorney of her authority to prosecute a man charged with killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police officer. On Monday, he also removed her from 21 other murder cases.

 

From firing squads to gas, legislators explore ways to execute death row inmates in absence of lethal drugs

(source: thestate.com)

South Carolina has no way of executing its more than 30 death row inmates, and state legislators are exploring how to fix that.

A Senate panel discussed Thursday looking into alternatives to lethal injection, the method the state most commonly used until the last set of drugs expired in 2013. Since then, the state has had no way of executing any of the 38 inmates on death row unless they choose to die by electrocution. Continue reading

A Wiser Generation of Prosecutors

The newly elected district attorney in Denver, Beth McCann, announced last month that her office would no longer seek the death penalty. “I don’t think that the state should be in the business of killing people,” she said.

In Harris County, Tex., which includes Houston and has long been one of the most execution-friendly counties in America, the new district attorney, Kim Ogg, said there would be “very few death penalty prosecutions” under her administration.
Read more: New York Times

Donald Trump has a strong stance on capital punishment

On many issues, President Donald Trump’s opinions are murky at best. He’s offered a number of different positions on issues like abortion rights, foreign policy and even his favorite issue, immigration. There’s 1 issue, though, where Trump has remained unambiguous throughout his campaign, even dating back to his days as a real estate mogul: capital punishment.

Read more:  mic.com (scroll down to the end of that story for an excellent photo from the Jan. 17 action against the death penalty!)

Supreme Court Protest Ends in 18 Arrests

Eighteen protesters were arrested on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday morning after displaying a large “STOP EXECUTIONS!” banner calling for an end to capital punishment in America.

The demonstration was timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1977 execution by firing squad of Garry Gilmore, the first since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Similar protests have taken place every five years . . .  continue reading: National Law Journal

Arrests Expected at U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC on 40th Anniversary of First Execution

Abolitionist Action Committee press release

Activists call on Nation to End the Death Penalty as State Executions hit Historic Lows

Members of the anti-death penalty Abolitionist Action Committee (AAC) and many faith leaders will stage a highly visual demonstration at the U.S. Supreme Court in the 10:00 am hour, Tuesday, January 17 to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1st execution under contemporary laws. A program featuring death row exonerees, murder victim family members and others, will take place the evening before. Continue reading

Even Dylann Roof should not receive a death sentence

A Charleston, S.C., jury convicted racist murderer Dylann Roof of hate crimes last month, and now the only question is whether the state will put him to death. We oppose the death penalty even for the Dylann Roofs of the world. But if the jury disagrees with us, at least it would hand down the ultimate punishment in retribution for a truly unusual crime and without a shadow of doubt about Mr. Roof’s guilt.
Read more: Washington Post editorial

The Growing Gap Between the U.S. and the International Anti-Death-Penalty Consensus

Last week, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for a worldwide “moratorium on the use of the death penalty”—the sixth that the U.N. has approved in the past decade. Each one has gained the support of more of the organization’s members. The latest vote was a hundred and seventeen countries in favor to forty against. (Thirty-one abstained, and five did not vote.)
Read the article at The New Yorker