SPECIAL EDITION: Weekly News Round-Up: 12/8/14 – 12/12/14

SPECIAL EDITION: BROAD COALITION LAUNCHES NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO END THE DEATH PENALTY … IN OTHER NEWS: More Exonerated; More Executed; OH Senate Okays Bill to Keep Lethal Injection Protocols Secret; and Many Connect US Torture Report to US’s Use of Death Penalty & Police Brutality

COALITION OF CIVIL RIGHTS, RELIGIOUS, HUMAN RIGHTS AND PRO-LIBERTY GROUPS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO END THE DEATH PENALTY

  • Washington, DC: As two inmates about to be executed, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, NAACP, Sojourners, Amnesty International USA, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and others launched “90 Million Strong” national, grassroots campaign to end the death penalty. [Washington Post, 12/9/14; Wisconsin Gazette, 12/9/14]

THE COALITION IS BROAD AND DIVERSE:

  • NAACP: “Enough is enough…African Americans being rushed to judgment and being executed in many cases in which they were not even involved in the commission of the crime is much too high… African Americans are the primary group of people that are freed later,” said Hilary Shelton, NAACP Senior Vice President for Policy & Advocacy and Director of the Washington Bureau at the campaign launch. [90 Million Strong Campaign Launch , 12/9/14]
  • Catholic Support: ““We approach it (the death penalty), as Catholics, as a moral and faith issue…This is a life issue to us,” said Karen Clifton, Executive Director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty. [Catholic News Service, 12/10/14]
  • Christian Support: “I am having conversations all the time with religious conservatives around the country, who are joining up with liberal groups like this and are saying ‘this has to end. This is no longer a political issue, this is for us, a moral issue and a Biblical issue,’” said Jim Wallis, Evangelical Christian Founder and President of Sojourners at the campaign launch. [Christian Post, 12/9/14; Christian Post Video, 12/9/14]
  • LGBTQ Support: “Lambda Legal opposes the death penalty for any crime, even crimes against lesbians and gay men (as in the Matthew Shepard case) and people living with HIV and AIDS” – “Proudly stands with” 90 Million Strong Campaign. From a blogpost by 90 Million Strong Partner Lamdba Legal on “The 5 Reasons Why Lamdba Legal Opposes the Death Penalty.” [Lambda Legal blog, 12/9/14]
  • Jewish Support: “The Reform Movement joins with our colleagues…in representing the ever-diversifying group of Americans who oppose the ongoing use of capital punishment…We pray that someday soon, the death penalty will be a scar from our past…” said Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, speaking on behalf of the Reform Jewish Movement at the campaign launch. [Religious Action Center Blog, 12/9/14]

IN OTHER NEWS…

MORE DEATH ROW PRISONERS EXONERATED

  • AZ: Charges dropped against woman after prosecutorial incompetence and double jeopardy potential in retrial. [Associated Press, 12/12/14]
  • OH: Murder conviction against Ronnie Bridgeman dropped after almost 30 years due to false witness testimony. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 12/9/14]

MORE DEATH ROW PRISONERS EXECUTED

  • MO: Executed inmate Paul Goodwin, despite his low IQ, mental disability. [International Business Times, 12/10/14]
  • GA: Executed Robert Wayne Holsey, despite fact that his lawyer in trial was alcoholic, criminal, and failed to provide evidence Holsey was intellectually disabled. [International Business Times, 12/10/14]

OH SENATE OKAYS BILL TO KEEP LETHAL INJECTION PROTOCOLS SECRET

  • OH: State Senate approves bill to make lethal injection protocols and drug sources secret. The controversial bill, opposed by local, national and international groups, including the EU, will head now to the OH House for final approval. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 12/11/14; AP, 12/10/14]

MANY CONNECT TORTURE REPORT TO USE OF DEATH PENALTY & POLICE BRUTALITY

  • “Anyone who can’t see the political and sociological tissue connecting the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and the revelations of a decade’s worth of CIA brutality, and the execution of Robert Holsey isn’t looking hard enough,” wrote Charlie Pierce for Esquire, tying together the report this week on the United States’ use of torture; the recent grand jury decisions not to convict cops in the killings of unarmed citizens Michael Brown and Eric Garner; and the execution earlier this week of Robert Holsey, in Georgia, who did not get a stay of execution despite the fact that the lawyer who represented him during his trial was an alcoholic and failed to present important evidence at trial that Holsey was mentally disabled. [Esquire, 12/11/14]

Source:: National Coalition to End the Death Penalty