October 10, 2005: World Day Against the Death Penalty
Sister Helen Prejean’s Dead Man Walking Turned Into a Play
European Union (EU) Releases a Statement Opposing the Death Penalty in Iraq
U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Consider House v. Bell
March 1, 2005, Marks a Historic Decision by the U.S. Supreme Court
International Death Penalty Abolition Day
First National Survey of Women on Death Row
December 2004 is the First Month in More Than a Decade With Zero Executions
Second World Congress Against the Death Penalty
President Bush Signs Into Law the Justice for All Act on October 30, 2004
Update on DNA and Victims’ Rights
Why Should the “Innocence Protection Act” Become a Law?
Did You Know?
- Two out of three children sent to death row are people of color.
- Of the nine girls executed in U.S. history, eight were black and one was American Indian.
- The youngest person executed in the U.S. since World War II was George Stinney, a black 14-year-old so small his mask fell off while he was being electrocuted by the state of South Carolina.
- The Federal Government has imposed the death penalty against American Indian children for crimes committed as young as 10-years-old.
- (Source: National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, www.ncadp.org)
- The U.S. and Somalia are the only countries in the world that have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Every major international human rights treaty expressly prohibits execution for crimes committed before the age of 18.
- At least 160 children have been sentenced to death in the U.S. since 1973.
- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the execution of children as young as 16 is not “cruel and unusual” punishment.
- The U.S. is the only Western democracy that continues to use the death penalty.
- The U.S., China, Iran and Saudi Arabia account for over 80 percent of the executions recorded by Amnesty International.
- Governments that enact the death penalty continue to have higher civilian murder rates than those that do not.
- Since 1973, over 100 people have been released from death row throughout the country after evidence of their wrongful convictions emerged.
- At least 23 innocent people have been mistakenly executed this century. After their execution, they were proven innocent. (Source: Center of Concern: Education for Justice, www.coc.org/contact/)
“Did you know, in this country, the United States of America, if you are below eighteen you can’t buy alcohol or cigarettes, you can’t sign a legal contract, you can’t witness an execution but you can be executed. Isn’t that incredible: Once you dehumanize people, once you only identify them by the crime and you make a monster of them, then you cankill anybody.” – Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man Walking and the Death of Innocents
Moratorium Campaign Closes
Helen Prejean, CSJ, founder of the Moratorium Campaign, writes: “As we enter our fifth year as The Moratorium Campaign, we have decided to close the doors of our office and to align our energies and resources with those of Equal Justice USA to create a solid, unified campaign. I have nothing but gratitude for the staff and volunteers who have worked at The Moratorium Campaign during the last five years. There is much work still to be done to awaken minds and hearts about the death penalty in America, but it is very hopeful work. For all that has been, Thanks. For all that we will do together, Yes!” Contact Equal Justice at the Quixote Center: http://www.quixote.org/ej/
Partners and Resources
The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society: www.umc-gbcs.org
Death Penalty Information Center: www.deathpenaltyinfo.org
People of Faith Against the Death Penalty: www.pfadp.org
Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty: www.cuadp.org
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty: www.ncadp.org
The Justice Project: www.TheJusticeProject.org
Penal Reform International: www.penalreform.org
Equal Justice at the Quixote Center: www.quixote.org
Center of Concern: Education for Justice: www.coc.org
World Coalition against the Death Penalty: www.worldcoalition.org
Amnesty International: www.amnesty.org
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: www.ccedp.org
“Executed on a Technicality: Lethal Injustice on America’s Death Row” by David Dow. When David Dow, lawyer and professor, took his first capital case he supported the death penalty. After witnessing injustices done to men on death row, he changed his position. To learn more about the book, log on to www. beacon.org/catalofs/sp05/dow.html. (Source: National coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, May 2005, www.ncadp.org)