State lawmakers continue re-evaluating the death penalty

Photo of the New Hampshire State Capitol

We’re less than a quarter into 2018, and the movement to end the death penalty has already made major strides in state capitols around the country.

In Utah, a Republican-sponsored repeal bill passed out of a House committee for the first time ever. Two years ago, Utah came close to ending the death penalty but ran out of time before getting to the House. This year, Utah’s session was extra short, but with strong backing from conservative lawmakers and civic leaders, the state is primed and ready to take repeal the rest of the way in 2019.

Washington’s death penalty also appears to be on its last legs. The Senate voted ‘yes’ on a repeal bill and so did a House committee, leaving just one final hurdle left. But like in Utah, Washington lawmakers ran out of time before they could get the bill to the Governor’s desk. The state, however, was a veritable echo chamber of voices calling for repeal, from families of murder victims, law enforcement, newspaper editorial boards, and, recently, from Kirk Bloodsworth, who had the personal experience of being exonerated from death row. Stay tuned for what is sure to be an exciting campaign next year.

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Job Opening at Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty

We are looking for a new manager for our Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty project. The right person could help end the death penalty from anywhere in the country. Could it be you?

Check out the full job description and apply here. 

Goodbye to Lorry Post. You will be missed.

Lorry Post, credit Abraham J.

Lorry joyfully reporting from the Capitol in Trenton on the day New Jersey became the first state in the modern era to legislatively abolish the death penalty. (Photo: Abraham J. Bonowitz/

Lorry Post, one of the most important catalysts for the decline of the death penalty in the United States, died last week.

Lorry first got involved in the death penalty issue when in 1996, his pastor asked for help with the case of Pedro Medina, a death row inmate who had compelling evidence of innocence.

Lorry’s daughter, Lisa, had been murdered a few years before. In the midst of his own unfathomable loss, Lorry became a tireless advocate for Medina.

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Petition: Stop Eleven Executions in Tennessee

Tennessee is set to resume executions for the first time in almost a decade. And not just one execution. They are planning on having ELEVEN executions in the next six months.

Now is the time to contact the Tennessee Governor and tell him not to resume executions.


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Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty Returns to CPAC

The Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) is the largest and most prominent gathering of conservative activists in the country. It’s also the place that Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (CCATDP) was first launched five years ago. Tomorrow, CCATDP will be back at CPAC. But, now, things are a little different. Continue Reading →

Help end the death penalty in Washington state!

Last week in a historic, bipartisan vote, the Washington State Senate passed a bill to repeal the death penalty. Now, the State House must act to get rid of the death penalty once and for all.

Please contact your representatives and tell them to say YES to repeal.


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You can help end the death penalty in Florida!

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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Ending capital punishment was right thing to do for N.J.

Anniversary story in the Star-LedgerPublished with the permission of The Star-Ledger, where it first appeared.

It’s hard to imagine today that two Republicans and two Democrats would join together to pass historic legislation on any issue, no less an issue that was seen by some as “controversial.” But ten years ago this week, that’s exactly what we did. And we kicked off a bipartisan trend that continues to this day.

On December 17, 2007, New Jersey became the first state to abolish the death penalty in almost half a century. We four led the charge as the prime sponsors in the legislature. We come from different parties and different parts of the state. Some of us originally supported the death penalty. Others never did. But over the course of New Jersey’s 25-year experiment with capital punishment, we all learned just how harmful and ineffective the death penalty really was.

Ten years later, linked by a shared legacy, we are both proud and humbled to reflect on how it happened and what came next.

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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 →