NCADP Death Penalty Update - May 2005 Issue

NCADP Death Penalty Update - May 2005 Issue


Death sentences reached modern-day low in 2004

The number of people sentenced to death last year fell to the lowest level since the Supreme Court reinstated the penalty in 1976. There were 125 people sent to death row in 2004, down from 144 the previous year and the sixth consecutive annual decline, according to figures compiled by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In 1998, 300 people received death sentences. To read a complete article about this trend, go here: http://www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ncadp/news.jsp?key=1376

Nonetheless, Connecticut prepares for first execution in more than 40 years

The state of Connecticut is preparing for what would be the first execution in Connecticut since 1960. Michael Ross, who suffers from documented mental illness and is dropping his appeals and asking to be executed, is scheduled to be put to death May 13. In response, activists are traveling to Connecticut from across the United States to participate in a fast and vigil in protest of the execution. The combination fast/vigil will begin on Sunday, May 8. For more information, go here: http://www.dontkillinmynamect.org/

Victory in New York!

Thanks to skilled lobbying and an outpouring of grassroots activism, abolitionists in New York have withstood efforts to reinstate the death penalty! Now it's time to thank the state legislators who made this happen. If you would like to write a letter to New York State Assembly members, please go here to find out how you can help: http://www.quixote.org/ej/


Yesterday evening, the state of Texas executed Lonnie Pursley. Eight more executions are scheduled in the United States this month alone. Go here to protest these executions: http://www.ncadp.org/execution_alerts.html


NCADP depends on supporters like you to lead the fight for abolition. We've had some tremendous victories lately - abolition of the juvenile death penalty, defeating a abolition of the death penalty in New York and legislative advances in states as diverse as Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina and Connecticut. But it takes money to sustain a movement! Won't you pitch in? If you believe that the death penalty violates the most basic principle of human rights, AND you believe we can win this struggle, please consider an online gift!



Amazingly, there are now eight death-penalty blogs out in the blogosphere (a year ago, there was one!)

Here's a quick rundown:

Abolish the Death Penalty -- http://www.deathpenaltyusa.blogspot.com This is NCADP's official blog.

Capital Defense Weekly -- http://www.capitaldefenseweekly.com This is authored by attorney Karl Keys and is the most comprehensive blog out there for analyzing judicial decisions regarding the death penalty.

Stand Down Texas -- http://www.standdown.org/blog/ This blog is maintained by Steve Hall, director of Stand Down Texas, a pro-moratorium organization.

Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty -- http://www.phadp.org/blog/ This blog is written by Esther Brown of Alabama.

Lonely Abolitionist -- http://www.lonelyabolitionist.blogspot.com This blog is maintained by a lawyer in Minneapolis.

Meet Vernon -- http://www.meetvernon.blogspot.com This blog is dedicated to Vernon Evans, who is on Maryland's death row. People email blog author Ginny Simmons with questions for Vernon and she forwards them to Vernon, who sends his answers back to Ginny. The author is not afraid to take on those who are on the other side of the issue.

Fight for Bobby -- http://www.fight4bobby.blogspot.com In a similar vein to Meet Vernon and yet different: Fight for Bobby is dedicated to proving the innocence of Robert Fratta, who is on death row in Texas.

Against Death Rows -- http://www.againstdeathrows.blogspot.com - examines life on Florida's death row through the eyes of one person.


The U.S. Supreme Court is again on recess. No opinions will be released until at least Tuesday, May 17.


Lawyer and Professor David Dow, who directs the Texas Innocence Network, has penned a highly recommended new book entitled Executed on a Technicality: Lethal Injustice on America's Death Row. Here's a brief description:

"When David Dow took his first capital case, he supported the death penalty. He changed his position as the men on death row became real people to him, as he came to witness the profound injustices they endured: from coerced confessions to disconcertingly incompetent lawyers; from racist juries and backward judges to a highly arbitrary death penalty system.

"Dow's eye-opening book is captivating because he allows the men, and their cases, to speak for themselves. For instance, one inmate's lawyer literally slept through his trial; another inmate was executed because the jury never heard from two eyewitnesses who swore he was no the murderer; and yet another inmate was allowed to represent himself at trial despite the fact that his mental imbalance, which included attempts to issue a subpoena to Jesus Christ, was evident."

To read the book's entire first chapter or to purchase the book, go here: http://www.beacon.org/catalogs/sp05/dow.html


NCADP 2005: Turning Wins into Winning , NCADP's annual conference, will take place in Austin, Texas Oct. 27-30. This year's conference will emphasize grassroots mobilization and training like never before! Please keep an eye on our web site at www.ncadp.org for details as they emerge. The conference will be at the Hyatt Regency on Town Lake. For reservations, call 512-477-1234. Tell them you?re with NCADP to get the special conference rate!


Have an anti-death penalty event you'd like to publicize? Or do you just want to find out what's going on in the abolition movement? Visit here:



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