EJUSA celebrates 10 years without the death penalty in New Jersey

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the end of the death penalty in New Jersey. On December 17, 2007, then-Governor Jon Corzine signed an abolition bill that made the state the first to legislatively end capital punishment in the modern era.

EJUSA commemorated the 10-year anniversary by participating in an event honoring some of the champions of the repeal campaign at a celebration hosted by The Human Rights Institute at Kean University. Special honors went to former Governor Jon Corzine and one of the primary sponsors of abolition, Senator Raymond J. Lesniak.

Some members of the Executive Committee of New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NJADP) hadn’t seen each other in many years and enjoyed the reunion. The team of 23 volunteers, 3 staff (including NJADP Executive Director Celeste Fitzgerald, who is now EJUSA’s Director of Partnerships), and EJUSA Executive Director Shari Silberstein spent thousands of hours for more than eight years to achieve the historic victory.

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No executions in 2018?

We’re closer than ever.

This fall support for the death penalty plunged to its lowest level since 1972. You made that happen. You stood by us year after year, and now even red states and Republican lawmakers are leading the charge.

Will you help us continue our work in 2018? Please make as generous a gift as you can. We need to raise $50,000 by December 31st and the first $25,000 we raise will be matched!

This year you’ve literally saved lives: Continue Reading →

Ending the death penalty by elevating voices of color | Reimagining Justice This Month

Reimagining Justice This Month highlights stories about effective responses to violence – responses that disrupt cycles of violence, heal trauma, and address structural racism.

“Justice from Within: The Death Penalty and a New Vision for Criminal Justice through a Racial Justice Lens,” Nonprofit Quarterly
In a new article, EJUSA’s Fatimah Loren Muhammad highlights the history of racial bias in the application of the death penalty and the evolution of EJUSA’s work to end the death penalty by elevating voices of color. She also offers insights into the kinds of transformative internal work that allows EJUSA to more fully engage in racial justice campaigns and work toward our new vision for justice, centered in racial equity and healing.

“L.A. Leads in New Approach for Juveniles Who Have Committed Felonies,” The Chronicle for Social Change
In a historic move, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a plan for diverting tens of thousands of youth from the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The plan aims to connect youth with a comprehensive array of supportive services – education, employment, housing, healthcare and more – at a fraction of what it would cost to lock them up. Continue Reading →

EJUSA Evangelical Network promotes violence prevention, support for survivors, restorative justice, and death penalty repeal

EJUSA Evangelical Network websiteWe are proud to announced the formation of the new EJUSA Evangelical Network. It is comprised of Evangelical leaders – from across the nation and political spectrum – who seek to transform the justice system by promoting responses to violence that are rooted in the values of racial equity, healing, public health, and restoration.

“Evangelicals are active in a lot of criminal justice reform campaigns,” said Shari Silberstein, Executive Director of EJUSA. “In our work with Evangelicals on the death penalty, we consistently heard that they wanted to advocate for something, and not just against broken policies. Our Evangelical Network provides that affirmative platform for future advocacy.”

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EJUSA Receives $150,000 Grant from Andrus Family Fund

EJUSA is pleased to announce that it has received a $150,000 grant from Andrus Family Fund. The grant will support our Police/Community Initiative on Trauma-Informed Responses to Violence, a project currently piloting in Newark, New Jersey. The project focuses on changing police policies and practices by using the analysis and frame of trauma to create the necessary space to shift narratives about violence, create empathy and mutual understanding, and lay the foundation for a healing justice system.

The Police/Community Initiative begins with trauma training and builds towards advocacy to implement police reforms. In the training, police and community members develop mutual understanding of the links between unaddressed trauma and involvement in the justice system, the impact of trauma on responses to violence, the impact of PTSD on officer use of force, and historical trauma such as slavery.

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Trailblazing Together

EJUSA has a long history of trailblazing strategies and projects. That’s because you’ve believed in and supported us at every turn.

Next month one of our newest projects – a pilot in Newark, NJ that trains police officers and community members in trauma – enters its second year. We’re leading powerful conversations with police about racism, historical trauma, and mass incarceration.

We couldn’t be more excited about this project, which is building mutual understanding between police and community of the impact of trauma on all sides.

Please support this groundbreaking work, which we’re getting ready to expand nationally! A gift of $25, $50, $75, or even $100 will help us take this work to the next level.

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Did you know?

Did you know that Florida has second largest death row in the country? If you care about ending the death penalty, Florida is ground zero.

Florida also has the highest number of known wrongful convictions. And its death penalty is in chaos, with hundreds of old cases in sentencing limbo after recent court rulings.

It’s shameful. Florida is throwing millions of dollars behind the relentless pursuit of executions while communities lack resources to prevent and heal from violence.

Your help is needed to help demonstrate that Floridians want safety, healing, and justice – not the death penalty. A gift of $25, $50, $75, or even $100 today will make sure survivors of Florida’s broken system are heard!

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Turning Pain into Action

The justice system failed Darlene.

In the wake of her daughter Shelby’s murder, Darlene and her family needed support and healing. But once Darlene objected to the death penalty in her daughter’s case, the system turned against them.

That’s when she turned to EJUSA, and thanks to you, we gave her the tools and support to advocate for herself and her family.

Too many survivors like Darlene have been let down by the justice system. You can help. A gift of $25, $50, $75, or even $100 will help us put safety and healing – not punishment – at the center of the justice system.

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EJUSA launches the Gibbons Fund for Justice

Last week, the Gibbons Law firm in Newark, NJ hosted a reception to launch the Judge John J. Gibbons Fund for Justice at EJUSA.

More than eighty people gathered to celebrate the Judge’s extraordinary legacy of justice and the launch of the fund at EJUSA in his honor. Guests included family, friends, former law clerks, former colleagues from Seton Hall Law School, and former and current recipients of the John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest & Constitutional Law, which litigates historic, cutting-edge civil rights and civil liberties cases. Also attending were several of the Judge’s friends and colleagues from the Fund for New Jersey, which generously provided an inaugural leadership gift to honor the Judge, a founding Fund for New Jersey board member for more than 40 years before his retirement in 2015.

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EJUSA to launch the Judge John J. Gibbons Fund for Justice

Gibbons banner
The Honorable John J. Gibbons, standard-bearer of the Gibbons law firm and a giant in the New Jersey legal community for five decades, will be honored on June 21st at a reception to mark the launch of a new fund in his name.

The Judge John J. Gibbons Fund for Justice at Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) will carry on his commitment to the rule of law and his belief that every person deserves respect and dignity.

“Judge Gibbons was a prominent leader in the historic effort that made New Jersey the first state to repeal the death penalty in more than 40 years,” said Shari Silberstein, Executive Director of EJUSA. “This year marks the 10th anniversary of New Jersey’s repeal of the death penalty. The Gibbons Fund at EJUSA will enable our organization to continue what we started in New Jersey, ending the death penalty across the country.”

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