Friday, July 29, 2016


Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice

What’s at stake:   Execution can never be humane.  One, it is unconstitutional because cruel and unusual punishment.

Contents of Death Penalty Watch July 29, 2016

DPIC Death Penalty Information Center

Religious Groups
Holy See to UN:  Stop the Executions
Ferrone vs Death Penalty and Life Imprisonment

Other Groups Opposed to Capital Punishment
October 10, 2016, 14th World Day Against the Death Penalty
Death Row Stories
Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation (MVFR)
One for Ten (exonerated death row prisoners)

31 States with Death Penalty, 19 Ban DP
Death Penalty Decreasing

A Glimpse of OMNI Death Penalty Actions (its Human Rights Committee) 2008


Holy See to UN: Countries should strive to end the death penalty. 
Vía ThePopeApp  From Anne Marie

Pat Ferrone.  “’Blessed Are the Merciful.’”  Agape Community, The Servant Song (Spring 2015).  Focusing first on Dzhokhar’s trial, then a comprehensive refutation of the death penalty and life imprisonment.    --Dick

Read letter in NAD-G 7-21-16 by OMNI member Linda Barnes on the "legalized murder" of capital punishment.

·         World Day
14th World Day Against the Death Penalty: Terrorism
On 10 October 2016, the 14th World Day Against the Death Penalty is raising awareness around the application of the death penalty for terrorism-related offences, to reduce its use.
  • Running against the abolitionist worldwide movement, some governments have in recent years resorted to use of the death penalty following terrorist attacks on their countries, in the name of protecting their countries and peoples. In the last ten years, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Tunisia and others have adopted laws that expanded the scope of the death penalty, adding certain terrorist acts to the list of crimes punishable by death. More recently, Pakistan and Chad resumed executions in the name of the fight against terrorism, putting an end to moratoriums that had lasted for years.

    The death penalty in practice

    • 104 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes;
    • 6 countries have abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes;
    • 30 countries are abolitionist in practice;
    • 58 countries and territories are retentionist;
    • 25 countries carried out executions in 2015;
    • The 5 top executioners in 2015 were China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the USA;
    • 65 countries and territories retain the death penalty for terrorism. Of these:
       - 16 countries are abolitionist in practice;
       - 1 country is abolitionist in law for ordinary crimes.

    To know more about the death penalty...

    ... all over the world: read the facts & figures
    ... and terrorism: read the leaflet, the detailed factsheet

    Take action to stop crime, not lives:

    1.    Organize a public debate and a movie screening with exonerees, victims of terrorism, murder victim’s families, experts, to raise awareness on the reality of the death penalty
    2.    Organize an art exhibition (photo, drawings, posters) or a theatre performance from Dead Man Walking to Victor Hugo
    3.    Organize a demonstration, a sit-in, a ‘die-in,’ a flash mob
    4.    Join the events prepared for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide
    5.    Support urgent appeals and take part in social media action in the lead up to 10 October
    6.    Write to a prisoner on death row
    7.    Donate to the World Coalition against the Death Penalty or another group working to end the death penalty.
    8.    Follow the social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter: #nodeathpenalty
    9.    Mobilize the media to raise awareness on the issue of the death penalty
    10.  Participate in “Cities Against the Death Penalty/Cities for Life” on 30 November 2016

    Call for initiatives

    > On 10 October 2016, take action against the death penalty!
    Join hundreds of initiatives organized worldwide

    > Wherever you are
    In Africa, America, Asia, Oceania or Europe

    > Whoever you are
    NGOS, teachers, lawyers, local representatives, parliamentarians, artists, reporters, religious leaders, citizens

    > Whatever your plans are
    Debates, concerts, press conferences, demonstrations, petitions, educational and cultural activities...

    Get in touch with the World Coalition to tell us about events scheduled on October 10.

Human Rights, Death Row Stories
CNN, August 12,  2015:  Execution of Humans Not Humane, Cannot Be
Death Row Stories explores cases that pose hard questions about the U.S. capital punishment system.
Throughout the history of capital punishment in America, states have reviewed and revised execution methods in the interest of finding a more "humane" option.
Thanks Dick … Here’s a link to some clips from that show. 

Here’s the clip with my interview in it:


Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation

MVFR News & Updates

Dear Friend,
As 2013 draws to a close and I look back on MVFR’s work over the past twelve months I am filled with gratitude for all of our Members and Supporters!
Our Members continue to lift their voices to improve our criminal legal system and replace capital punishment, advocating for policies and practices that actually address victim/survivors’ needs. Our Supporters enhance our ability to lift our Members’ voices.
I thank you for every action you have taken to support our Members and our Mission. Thanks for every financial gift, for adding your name to our network, for speaking at a community event, for sharing your story in writing, for creating a space where a Member’s story can be heard, for contacting an elected official, for telling a potential donor about us, and more!
Your contributions allow us to create spaces for our Members to speak up and educate their communities, elected officials, and the media on the needs of family members of murder victims, the lack of meaningful services for victims following violent crime, and what equal justice looks like for victim/survivors following the murder of a loved one.
Every person who is a part of MVFR as a Member or as a Supporter is part of the team that helps bring value to the work we do every day – thank you!
Scott Bass
Executive Director 
MVFR's members are persons whose loved ones have been taken by murder and who believe the death penalty is a response to murder that only creates more harm. MVFR members help their friends, co-workers, media and policymakers understand the negative impact that capital punishment has on the families of murder victims and the executed. MVFR is a non-partisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that offers public education and advocacy on the death penalty and the needs of murder victim family members.
More information about our work can be found at
or by contacting Marcelle Clowes at
877-896-4702 | 405 Morson St. Raleigh, North Carolina 27601

MVFR News & Updates

Dear Friend,
Momentum for ending the death penalty has never been stronger. In the past six years, six states have ended the death penalty. Murder victim family members were crucial participants in each of those states.
Your support helps MVFR ensure that victim/survivor voices are heard and engaged in a way that respects them and honors their loved ones. MVFR works to support and engage murder victim family members, like the group of victim/survivors who helped Maryland achieve repeal in 2013 and the group that helped Connecticut repeal the death penalty in 2012. In 2014, Delaware could become the seventh state in seven years to end capital punishment.
Other states – perhaps your state – are sure to follow. We are at work around the country – in the headlines and behind the scenes – to end the death penalty and encourage better responses to violence and policies that keep us all safer.
Elizabeth Brancato, an MVFR Member in Connecticut, is a vivid example of the powerful and effective role MVFR Members play in the work to end capital punishment across the United States. She was part of a strong and effective team of murder victim family members whose testimony and hard work helped make Connecticut’s repeal campaign sucessful. “I was thrilled to have testified against the death penalty and to then witness votes in both the House and Senate to abolish it,” Elizabeth said. “The overwhelming feeling I had was pride in being a citizen of Connecticut.” Elizabeth is an example of how your financial support of MVFR is making a real difference.
We need your financial support so that murder victims’ families’ voices are heard across the country in support of alternatives to the death penalty – alternatives that better address the harms caused by violence and that make all our families safer.
In the coming months, MVFR Members will work to end capital punishment in Delaware, while also working in Kansas, Colorado, Oregon, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and beyond in efforts to end the death penalty. We work to lay the foundation for repeal campaigns and to reduce usage of the death penalty in states where repeal is not yet achievable.
MVFR’s work is not always front page news. Whether at the front of a repeal celebration or behind the scenes working effectively to create deeper understanding of what families and communities need after violence, our work is vital and makes a difference.
Scott Bass
Executive Director
Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation
MVFR's members are persons whose loved ones have been taken by murder and who believe the death penalty is a response to murder that only creates more harm. MVFR members help their friends, co-workers, media and policymakers understand the negative impact that capital punishment has on the families of murder victims and the executed. MVFR is a non-partisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that offers public education and advocacy on the death penalty and the needs of murder victim family members.
More information about our work can be found at[]
or by contacting Marcelle Clowes at
877-896-4702 | 405 Morson St. Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
One For Ten is a series of online documentaries meeting people who were on death row in America despite being innocent.
One For Ten is a series of online documentaries meeting people ...
One For Ten DVD ( PAL – Worldwide)£10. This DVD ...
Will Francome has been involved in film-making and anti-death ...
Delbert Lee Tibbs was convicted in 1974 of the murder of a 27-year ...
Gary Drinkard was sentenced to death in 1995 for the robbery ...

 (Ed Martone & Stacey Smith - NJADP)
31 States with the Death Penalty and 19 States with Death Penalty Bans
·         CITE
·         FACEBOOK
·         TWITTER
·         GOOGLE+
·         EMAIL
·         PRINT
The death penalty is legal in 31 states and illegal in 19 states and the District of Columbia

states have the death penalty
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming

states and DC have abolished the death penalty
Alaska, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin

I. History of Death Penalty Laws by State

The New York Times
Apr 6, 2014 - The rarity of the death penalty's use belies its alleged purposes of ... allow it, and its use was rare and decreasing even where it was allowed.
Amnesty International USA
A majority of the U.S. public now prefers alternatives over the death penalty as the best punishment for the crime of murder. More and more U.S. states are ...

July 29, 2016
A Piece of OMNI/DEATH PENALTY History, July and August 2008.  (With 8 death row inmates moving rapidly toward execution Fall 2016, it is time to revive our human rights committee.  Opposition to the death penalty is not futile.  The executions are decreasing). 

Mark Swaney, Coord; Dick Bennett.
Two related series of actions emphasizing PREVENTION were agreed upon:
[Actions taken in bold.]
  1.  Response to John Threet (Mark)
1.         Hold press conference with new batch of petitions
[Mark has petitions 8-28-08.]
2.         Complain to Threet’s professional assoc.—Ark. Bar Assoc.?  ABA applies only to private attorneys.
3.         Study Marcyniuk case and write report
4.         Contact the Public Defender’s office for a meeting, Denny Hyslip is to call me.  [8-28, PD won’t return calls.  Will persist.]
5.         Plan vigil for next execution.

  1. OMNI Support (Dick)
1.         Death Penalty Special Newsletter
2.         Including:  Questionnaire (beginning with Do you support or oppose the DP?)
3.         Increase attention to victims
4.         Suggest a DP film for VU (letter to Gerry Sloan)
5.         Contact ACADP Pres. to possibly speak here: David Rickard at  Protest at every future capital trial.  Carl Barnwell agreed to.
6.         Add motivated members to HR Committee [solicited a member from St. Paul’s, Lowell enthusiastically offered to find one, Ms Feild is joining the committee;
7.         Letter to Gov. Beebe and Clemency Bd. to spare Williams’ life for imprisonment without parole.  Letter below.

OMNI members agreed that our present method of sporadic reaction and public demonstration only on execution day could not be effective, and we must develop a steady opposition to the DP.

DICK’S LETTER TO Gov. Beebe and Clemency Bd
 Governor Mike Beebe
Arkansas State Parole Board

The OMNI Center believes that Frank Williams Jr. should be spared from execution September 9 because of sufficient doubt regarding his mental competence. 

Doctors hired by his defense attorneys believe he is mentally disabled. 

In 1993 Arkansas legislators passed a law banning the execution of those who were mentally disabled at the time they committed their crime. 
In 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to execute the mentally disabled.

We hope you will recommend life without parole.

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology
Gladys Tiffany, President

Reference:  Jon Gambrell (AP).  "Group: Spare Inmate."  The Morning News (July 31, 2008). 

Dick, the board is made up of political people with political appointments to serve on the board.  The letter definitely had an effect.  In the future, it will be necessary to send individual letters (not form letters) to each member of the board, and not just one letter to all.  But the OMNI letter was a definite help.  I am so pleased that Frank's attorney got out of the traditional rut and really did something innovative for Frank and for the education of the public.  I hope she will keep it up.  I have very little hope that Beebe will grant clemency to Frank, but I know that the only way he would do that is to attach it to the executions of Don Davis and Jack Jones.
     after a month without a computer, i am about to get this one set up and working....
----- Original Message -----
From: Dick Bennett
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 8:52 PM
Who knows if our letter to the Clemency Board had any effect.  But we can be proud that we tried to prevent that execution instead of waiting to lament it.  Thanks to all.
 Dick Bennett

Sept. 9; don't miss the story on front page of today's NW ARk edition of Dem-Gaz
Vigil should feature speaker from advocates for mentally disabled and another by foe of racial discrimination; will send excerpts later...

Sunday, December 14, 2008 - 07:39:16
Who should get death?
Betsey Wright, Bill Clinton's former gubernatorial chief of staff, wrote me yesterday about the changing standard of capital prosecutions in Washington County. She asked that the remarks be off the record. She apparently decided later to discuss the issue with a reporter in Northwest Arkansas. Wright is a death penalty opponent and spends most of her time these days working with Death Row inmates
The story is here and worth a read.
She was moved to comment by the death penalty meted out last week in the slaying of a UA student.
"I'm confused by the prosecuting attorney's lack of standards and equity," said Wright, who lives in Rogers. "He backed away from the death penalty for two people who killed small children, giving them plea bargains for life without parole. Yet, he pursued a death sentence for this mentally ill man.
"I don't think we know what his standard is. Of course, the fact that each prosecuting attorney operates differently is what makes the death penalty so political and easy to use as a threat to get leverage."
You may support the death penalty. But if you think it is applied evenly and rationally, you haven't been paying attention.
Posted by Max Brantley | Permalink | Comments [18]
Betsey Wright

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