“Close to collapse,” “problems galore,” “insults families of victims.” Those were just some of the phrases that described California’s death penalty in the 107-page report released in July by the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice.
On October 1, 2008 EJUSA will officially open our New York home base in Brooklyn as part of our transition to an independent organization. With just one month to go, we’re starting to pack our things and say goodbye to our space at the Quixote Center, affectionately known by many at the Center as the “yellow tugboat.”
Our move to New York marks the opening of a new hub for the growing movement to end the death penalty. EJUSA’s continued expansion means we can do more than ever before to meet the needs of state campaigns and local organizers.
Like any work, fighting the death penalty has its ups and downs. Some days it’s easy to get caught up in all the things on your to-do list, the calls and emails you have to take care of, materials to write, meetings to plan.
But once in a while, a day comes along that is all heart, and you remember that there’s nothing in the world as moving as fighting the death penalty.
Jean Tait runs a tight ship. At least, that’s what she’ll do at EJUSA when she takes over as office manager on September 3. Jean will take over a lot of the administrative functions we used to pay the Quixote Center to do for us when we were a program there, including bookkeeping, managing our database, keeping our office running smoothly, and more. Jean’s first task is to turn our big empty room in Brooklyn into a working office.
Last year Equal Justice USA introduced a new online database to the movement during a workshop at the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Annual Conference.
That doesn’t sound too earth-shattering, does it? That’s what we thought, too – at first. OTSE wasn’t certain how useful it would be given the nature of our work. But now that we’ve started using it, we’re amazed.
By Ashlee Shelton
Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (PADP)
Pennsylvania is on the move, with a key study commission on innocence underway, a major national conference coming up next year, and new staff coming on board to help build our local movement. In the midst of all this, we’ve set two important internal goals for PADP – to grow our membership and empower our grassroots leadership. Both goals have been supported by our cheerleaders and technically savvy friends at EJUSA.
“A system that puts a person’s life on the line cannot hang its hopes on the sheer luck that a few extraordinary good Samaritans will always be there and be willing to make these kinds of sacrifices. It is my personal hope that at the end of this study period, this commission will recognize that perhaps it is time that Maryland followed the trend away from the death penalty, so that a person will not live or die based on the resources and experience of his or her attorneys.” – Harry Trainor, Jr., Maryland defense attorney, testifying August 5, 2008