Tag Archives: National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Call Oklahoma to stop executions

Clayton Lockett died on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. He died in a botched execution by the State of Oklahoma.

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty reports that “witnesses say he writhed and twitched in agony throughout the execution.” A second execution scheduled for later that evening, has been postponed for fourteen days.

Lockett was sentenced to death for the murder of Stephanie Neiman. The incident that lead to her death was exceptionally brutal. It involved sexual assault and assault on Neiman and on Summer Bradshaw and Bobby Lee Bornt, according to a report in the Washington Post. While Neiman’s murder carried the death penalty, Lockett was convicted of a number of crimes committed that night.

There can be no justification, no excuses, no rationales for these actions, these crimes.

I grieve for Stephanie, Summer, Bobby Lee, and those who loved and love them. The violence which ended Stephanie’s live and violated Summer and Bobby Lee appalls me.

But I also grieve for Lockett. And his death appalls me even as his actions fill me with revulsion.

However, I believe, I do believe, I still believe, that dealing death for death is never the answer. It inappropriately raises us to the level of God as we decide who should live and who should die. And at the same time, it debases and degrades us to the level of those who resort to violence and destruction and death-dealing.

I opt for living in the tension. For seeking to find ways to protect society from those who kill without killing them. And for doing the hard, at times it seems futile, impossible, work of breaking the hold of anger, hate and violence on human hearts and preventing violence. It won’t come easy. But it is my choice.

The National Coalition Against the Death Penalty has a petition calling the leaders of Oklahoma to “halt all executions until an independent third-party can carry out an investigation with full transparency.”

I will sign because I believe an investigation is crucial both to understand what happened and why and to abolish the death penalty in Oklahoma and across the United States.

I will sign. I hope you do too.

See you along the Trail





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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty

Making Communities Safer by Abolishing the Death Penalty

This live online conference will be aired on Thursday, October 25 at 2:00 PM Eastern. Here are the details:

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is excited to present this live online conference exploring how communities can be safer without the death penalty. The conference will be broadcast over the web and will be approximately one hour in length. View the conference right here, on this page!

This will be a video conference with presenters live in California, Maryland and Massachusetts. We need your help to advertise this event.

Join us for a fascinating discussion addressing the question, “does the death penalty actually keep us safer?” with Charles Ogletree, Harvard University and founder of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Ron McAndrew, former warden of Florida State Prison who conducted that state’s final electrocutions,Kirk Bloodsworth, the first person exonerated from death row using DNA evidence, and Jerry Givens, former corrections officer from Virginia who put 62 men to death during his 17 years as an executioner.

Send us your questions in advance by tweeting them to #abolition2012.

Please let us know if you will gather colleagues and friends to watch this event together so that we can acknowledge you during the program! Virtual gatherings work too!

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty

Why won’t Texas perform a DNA test?

DNA tests have exonerated a number of individuals “convicted” of crimes in recent years.

In Texas, Hank Skinner has asked for a test of DNA evidence that he believes will prove his innocence. So far, his request has been denied.

Now time is running out. On Wednesday, Texas will execute Hank Skinner.

Skinner was convicted in 1995 of the murders of Twila Busby, and her two sons – Randy Busby and Elwin Caler.

Questions have been raised about Skinner’s guilt.

A larger question looms: Why won’t Texas perform the DNA testing?

Individuals can join former judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers, along with current and former elected officials who have called Texas state officials  not to execute Skinner until that DNA testing can be performed.

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty offers the opportunity to sign a petition.

I do not believe the state (any state) should execute individuals. I will continue to call for the abolition of the death penalty. But, I have signed the petition because I also believe that, if there are going to be executions, there should be as much certainty about their guilt as possible.

I pray for Hank Skinner and all who hold his fate.

I pray for Twila Busby, Randy Busby, and Elwin Caler and all who love them.

See you along the Trail.



Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty, Human Rights