Shortly after last month’s tragic mass shooting in Orlando, the American Medical Association declared gun violence a public health issue.
EJUSA believes that this powerful frame applies to all violence. Public health models prioritize prevention, harm reduction, as well as trauma treatment. By completely changing the narrative on violence, its causes, and its solutions, we believe we will truly transform the justice system.
The events of the last 72 hours have left us reeling. So much carnage, so much fear.
Justice, broken down into bite sized pieces, can sometimes feel so close within reach. The death penalty stopped here, more healing services there. And then we are confronted with these big moments that remind us how inadequate bite-sized justice can be. When transformation is needed, how do you break that down into “winnable bits” that sustain hope through the darkness? Is this even our task?
I don’t have the answers. I know that in the last two days I watched two children – a teenage boy cry for his father Alton Sterling and a four year girl try to comfort her mother after police killed Philando Castile. No child should ever have to go through that. Black children go through it all too often. The trauma of living in fear of the very systems and institutions that are supposed to protect runs deep through communities of color and has for centuries. As a white director, I don’t know that fear or that trauma. I can only see it, account for it, and commit my life to the struggle for change.
And police are often afraid in their jobs. And it is in that fear that I imagine the seeds for change – because this system isn’t working for anyone. There is a different way, a way where we all can see each other’s pain and trauma, where we embrace a model of community safety rooted in healing, in restoration, in mercy, in relationships, in love.
On a day when there are no words, I say to the families of Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, Michael Smith, Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarippa, Brent Thompson, Lorne Ahrens, and everyone who has lost a loved one to violence: I see you, I love you, and I will fight for you. To the black members of the EJUSA family: I see you, I love you, I will fight for you. And to the law enforcement members of the EJUSA family fighting for change: I see you, I love you, I will fight for you.
(up to 40 hours/week)
Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) is a national organization that works to transform the justice system by ending the death penalty, strengthening programs that help crime survivors address trauma and rebuild their lives, and promoting trauma-informed responses to violence that can save lives and help heal communities.
The Digital Campaigner will implement and manage an online campaign to mobilize new supporters to take action against the death penalty. Supporters will come to the campaign through a website featuring a collection of short films promoting repeal of the death penalty and tools for viewers to share the films and sign up for more information.
We seek a sharp, versatile online organizer with strong social media skills and experience developing and engaging an online, issue-based constituency. The Digital Campaigner will collaborate with a small network of key stakeholders, strategists, and campaign managers to implement a digital strategy currently that includes recruitment and engagement of the new subscribers from the films’ website, social media, and offline screenings and events.
On June 16, 2016, the Delaware Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Rauf v State, a case that will decide the future of Delaware’s death penalty. This case is the latest ripple effect from the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hurst v Florida ruling earlier this year, which struck down Florida’s death penalty and impacts other states, including Delaware.
More than 4,000 people are expected to attend the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit, said to be the largest gathering of conservatives outside of the annual CPAC conference in Washington, DC. Also known as “Rally in the Rockies,” the 3-day event takes place this weekend in Denver.
EJUSA’s Marc Hyden will be attending the conference to talk to participants about Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.
“One year ago, the conservative state of Nebraska repealed the death penalty, and earlier this year the Senate in another conservative state, Utah, voted to repeal the death penalty,” said Marc. “It’s clear that the death penalty’s support is waning, and fewer conservatives want anything to do with a broken government program that risks innocent life, hemorrhages taxpayer money, and fails to serve society or murder victims’ families.”
Stacy Anderson of Colorado’s anti-death penalty group, Better Priorities Initiative, will be joining Marc for the weekend. Motivated by her evangelical faith, Anderson led Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty during last year’s successful repeal campaign in the Cornhusker State.
If you’re attending the conference, you can find Marc and Stacy in the exhibit area at Booth 516.
Dawn Mancarella, a member of EJUSA’s Crime Survivor Network, put out a special appeal today for family members of murder victims to sign on to suspend use of the death penalty in a key Florida county.
If you’ve lost a family member to murder, read Dawn’s letter below and consider taking action. If you know of others who might like to sign, please share this post.
I know the horrible pain of losing a loved one to murder. My mom, Joyce Masury, was murdered 20 years ago, and my life has never been the same.
You’ve identified yourself to EJUSA or an EJUSA state partner as someone who has experienced this same unimaginable horror. So you understand where I’m coming from.
“Recommended this week” features highlights from the past week in news about the death penalty, crime survivors, and trauma-informed responses to crime.
Letter from Jack The Reverend Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., Facebook
A beautiful message in reaction to last weekend’s tragedy in Orlando from our friend and the Executive Director at Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation.
Delaware Supreme Court considers overturning death penalty statute, Delaware Public Media
Arguments were heard this week on whether Delaware’s death penalty is unconstitutional, based on U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down earlier this spring. A decision should be announced in the next 90 days.
My mom was killed in the Charleston shooting. Executing Dylann Roof won’t bring her back, Vox.com
“I don’t believe in the death penalty — not even for the man who killed my mother.”
EQUAL JUSTICE USA
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