Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty (CCATDP) was busy crisscrossing the country in April. On top of CCATDP’s National Coordinator Marc Hyden’s trips to Tennessee and Utah, I traveled to Orlando for the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Florida State Convention on and then to Philadelphia for the Life/Peace/Justice Conference. Our participation in these conferences shows the interest that CCATDP’s message is generating across a variety of different constituencies, including libertarian and pro-life groups.
Duane Buck was sentenced to death in Texas after his own lawyer called an “expert” who testified that Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is black. At this crucial moment, when our nation is addressing racial bias in the criminal justice system, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to hear the full case in the next few weeks. The Court should do everything in its power to ensure Buck receives a full and fair review of his case and, ultimately, a new sentencing hearing, free of racial bias.
This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The theme this year is Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope., which highlights the need for early intervention and victims services that build trust with crime survivors, and creates hope that healing is possible.
We’ve been working with crime survivors for over 10 years. And what we’ve learned from them over and over again is that these services – and a commitment to healing – remain out of reach for the vast majority of them.
Crime survivors aren’t getting the help they need
The numbers agree – estimates are that more than 90% of crime survivors don’t access any victims services. You read that right: 90% of the people in the U.S. who’ve been hurt, robbed, shot, assaulted, abused, raped, or had a family member murdered got no formal help to process their trauma, cope with their grief, or rebuild their lives in even practical ways.
Thank you so much for your letter last week to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. Thanks to people like you, we generated over 650 letters to stop an execution tainted by racial bias and a sleeping lawyer.
Georgia refused to listen. Kenneth Fults was executed last night for the 1997 killing of Cathy Bounds.
This is a stark reminder that the death penalty is broken beyond repair.
Contact: Jon Crane Phone/Email 203-982-4575
Sunday April 10th will mark the start of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 10-16) and this year’s theme – Serving Victims, Building Trust, Restoring Hope – is intended to highlight the need for victims services that will promote trust, healing, and recovery.
But for too many crime survivors, those services and ideals remain out of reach. Equal Justice USA, a national organization working to transform the justice system to one that heals and restores lives, recently launched a new initiative aimed at addressing the trauma of crime survivors, particularly in communities of color where there has been disparate access to resources.
“Our goal is to move towards a justice system that can actually promote health, rehabilitation, and healing,” said Fatimah Loren Muhammad, Director of EJUSA’s Trauma Initiative. “We are working to develop a justice system that operates according to public health values of prevention, harm reduction, and trauma-informed care.”
This weekend, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a segment on prisons in Germany. The German approach emphasizes healing and rehabilitation. There’s no punishment for punishments’ sake. Loss of freedom is punishment enough, and the goal is to help those who commit harm to change their lives. Corrections officers are trained in psychology, communications, and de-escalation. Even Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Corrections was convinced after joining a tour of three German prisons.
Rodney Lincoln, Malcolm Scott, and De’Marchoe Carpenter are serving life in prison. They all insist they are innocent. Evidence suggests that other men committed the crimes – which could lead to exonerations if they confessed. The problem? The men have already been executed.
EQUAL JUSTICE USA
20 JAY ST, SUITE #808
BROOKLYN, NY 11201
TEL: (718) 801-8940