Tag Archives: petition

Stop the execution of Rodney Reed

This is urgent. On November 20th, Texas is scheduled to execute Rodney Reed for the rape and murder of Stacey Stites. Horrible crimes. Crimes that Rodney Reed most likely did not commit.

Mountains of evidence exonerates Rodney Reed. All of that evidence was kept from the all white jury that convicted him. Instead, the evidence implicates the victim’s fiancé – local police officer Jimmy Fennell – who has a history of violence against women, including being convicted for kidnapping and sexual assault soon after Rodney was wrongly sent to prison.

Governor Greg Abbott has stopped an execution before. He can again. A huge public uproar right now could force Abbott to free Rodney Reed and stop this execution. Sign the petition today!

Find other ways to help.

Gov. Abbott should stop this execution because a significant amount of evidence points to Rodney Reed’s innocence. Executions are irreversible. There can be no do-overs. The lack of absolute certainty (which exists in many cases) should give significant pause before the state carries out this or any execution.

Let’s suppose, just suppose that Rodney Reed committed these crimes. That seems highly unlikely, but let’s suppose. Sound reasons still exist for halting this and every execution:
Executing people to keep people from committing crimes has proven ineffectual.
Execution lowers us to the level of those who kill.
The violence of an execution feeds violence.
Thou shall not kill.

We are better than this.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty, Human Rights

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





Leave a comment

Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty

Free Marissa Alexander

I signed a petition asking Florida Governor Rick Scott to free Marissa Alexander. Marissa acted to defend herself from her abusive estranged husband … she fired a warning shot … she hurt no one … and now she is in prison. Here is how the organizers of the petition describe the situation:

In August 2010, Marissa Alexander defended herself from further violence by her abusive estranged husband in their home by firing a warning shot toward the ceiling. No one was injured by the shot fired to save her life. Without bond to care for her premature nursing daughter, in May 2012, Marissa was wrongly convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Under Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing law, Marissa was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison. Marissa had a restraining order against the serial abuser, a legally licensed gun and permit, and no criminal history. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law did not work for her in the way it worked for Trayvon Martin’s killer which raises serious concerns of discrimination against Marissa. It appears that stereotypes about Black women project them as aggressors even when defending their lives upon deadly attack. Something has to be done regarding all women who defend themselves against their abusers. Too often they receive little understanding and sympathy from the systems charged with demonstrating justice.

I signed. Will you?

See you along the Trail.

1 Comment

Filed under Current Events, Human Rights

A call to reduce gun violence

Yesterday, I attended two meetings about using the film Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence to engage in conversations on ending gun violence.

Today, I signed a petition calling for common-sense measures to reduce gun violence in the U.S.  We live in a culture of violence that perpetuates this terrible cycle of gun violence, poverty, and injustice.  But our call, as Christians, is to be peacemakers.  Join me in challenging our gun culture.

Stop Gun ViolenceDuring this Lenten Season, Presbyterians we are joining other faith groups in prayerful engagement and direct action to reduce our culture of violence and to bring peace to our homes, streets, and public venues.

This petition, calling for common-sense federal measures to reduce gun violence, is one small piece of a larger strategy to address the culture of violence that pervades our nation.

The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness will gather signatures for this petition throughout Lent and will deliver the completed petition to Members of Congress in the Easter season.

As I move through Lent discipline, I have made this petition – signing it, circulating it, inviting my friends to sign it – one of your personal commitments.

Email a request for post cards of this petition for gathering signatures at churches and other community events.

See along the Trail.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gun Violence, Movie, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

I signed. Will you?

The international movement to end the death penalty grows. I signed a petition this morning from the World Coalition against the Death Penalty.

Amnesty International notes that in 2010 (the last year for which they have published records):

23 countries carried out executions and 67 imposed death sentences in 2010. Methods of execution in 2010 included beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection and shooting.

Amnesty’s report “Death Sentences and Executions 2010” notes:

Bahrain (1), Bangladesh (9+), Belarus (2), Botswana (1), China (1000s), Egypt (4), Equatorial Guinea (4), Iran
(252+), Iraq (1+), Japan (2), Libya (18+), Malaysia (1+), North Korea (60+), the Palestinian Authority (5),
Saudi Arabia (27+), Singapore (+), Somalia (8+), Sudan (6+), Syria (17+), Taiwan (4), United States of
America (46), Viet Nam (+), Yemen (53+).

The petition from the World Coalition against the Death Penalty states:

139 nations have already abolished the death penalty. In December 2012, the United Nations’ General Assembly will vote on a resolution calling for a worldwide halt to its use.

We, the undersigned, in recognition of the five million people who signed the moratorium petition that was handed to the United Nations’ General Assembly in 2007, promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio in collaboration with Amnesty International and other organizations all over the world, renew the call for a worldwide moratorium on sentences and executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty worldwide in the belief that this penalty is inhumane:

* Whatever the method of execution, there is no humane way to kill
* Whatever the country, death row is inhumane
* Whatever the length, awaiting death dehumanizes people sentenced to death

We welcome the strong progress already made towards a global end to capital punishment and acknowledge that 139 nations have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

For the 4th vote of the United Nations General Assembly on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, to be held in December 2012, we, the undersigned, call on all countries to support the resolution and all those which retain the death penalty to establish a moratorium on its use, with a view to abolishing this inhumane practice altogether!

I signed. Will you?

See you along the Trail.


Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty, Human Rights