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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New report finds spike in Republican opposition to the death penalty

The Right Way ThumbnailA new report by Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty has found a surge in the number of Republican lawmakers who sponsored death penalty repeal legislation at the state level. The report – called The Right Way – looks at all death penalty repeal bills filed since 2000, using the increase in sponsorships as a measure for growing Republican leadership on the issue.

Findings include:

  • The number of Republican state lawmakers to sponsor death penalty repeal bills increased sharply since 2012.
  • From 2000 to 2012, it was rare for Republican state lawmakers to sponsor death penalty repeal bills. In 2013, the annual number of Republican sponsors more than doubled.
  • By 2016 ten times as many Republicans sponsored repeal bills than in 2000.
  • More than 67% of the Republicans sponsoring death penalty repeal bills did so in red states.

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CCATDP releases new report, “The Right Way”

CCATDP formed in 2013 to shatter the myth of universal conservative death penalty support. With your help, I believe that we have accomplished that goal. Grassroots conservatives and many well-known political thought leaders are now openly questioning capital punishment with great frequency.

A mere four years since our founding, we have proof that conservative lawmakers are also increasingly supporting death penalty repeal. Today at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., we unveiled our report, “The Right Way,” which demonstrates this point.

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Don’t miss this event in Kansas!

Our friends at the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP) have an exciting event planned for Saturday, October 21, and we wanted to make sure you heard about it!

Join KCADP for their annual Abolition Conference at 1pm on 10/21 at the Church of the Brethren in McPherson. You’ll hear Kansans speak about the social, economic, political, and psychological costs of the death penalty in “The Kansas Death Penalty: What a Waste, 2017!”

The four panelists each have personal experience with and a unique perspective to share on the death penalty: Continue Reading →

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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Tell the Governor: No more executions!

Florida: No More Executions!Last month, after years of uncertainty, Florida resumed executions. But there are still serious concerns surrounding the fairness of the state’s death penalty system, and the legitimacy of hundreds of death sentences remains in question.

In the midst of this chaos, Florida shouldn’t be executing at all. Send an email to Governor Rick Scott today and tell him to halt executions.

CONTACT GOVERNOR SCOTT

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We carry the stories with us in our fight towards justice | 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.

In honor of National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims (Sept 25), EJUSA’s staff extend deep-filled gratitude to the hundreds of family members of murder victims we have had the privilege to work with for the last 25+ years. We honor those loved ones you’ve lost and the stories you have shared with us. We carry them with us in our fight towards justice and healing for all. Read some of the stories about our work with families of homicide victims.

“Help The Trace Report on America’s Ignored Population of Gunshot Survivors,”The Trace
As part of its efforts to report on gun violence and its survivors, The Trace has pulled together a survey to try to help determine what services survivors need and which of those services they have trouble accessing. If you are the survivor of gun violence, please take a moment to fill out this survey, or if you know someone who has survived a gunshot wound, please pass this along. Continue Reading →

Arkansas’ execution spree highlights fallacy of our nation’s approach to violence.

Preparing to deliver petitionsThe nation’s eyes were on Arkansas as it executed four people in 10 days in April, including holding the nation’s first double execution in almost two decades. The schedule drew national outrage, including 250,000 petition signatures delivered to the governor, intervention by victims’ family members, and celebrity involvement.

Much of the attention has been on the timeline, the process, and specific problems with each case, including faulty forensics, bad lawyers, mental impairments, racial disparities, unexamined mitigation, etc. At least half of the men experienced unspeakable childhood trauma – one of many reasons to spare their lives.

But now that some of the dust has settled, it’s time to ask a deeper question than whether or not to execute. Buried in those horrific childhood histories is a more profound story that gets to the heart of our nation’s misdirected approach to violence prevention and public safety. A public health approach might very well have prevented many of these murders in the first place.

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More Exonerations – an update from CCATDP

In the past month, we’ve been confronted with our death penalty system’s dangers and flaws again. Rodricus Crawford was released from Louisiana’s death row in April and Ralph Daniel Wright Jr. from Florida’s death row just days ago because they had both been wrongly convicted and sentenced to die. Regrettably, this isn’t a rare occurrence. In fact, these exonerations bring the total number of wrongful capital convictions in the US since 1973 to 159, while others have been executed who might have been innocent.

The Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission concluded its year-long examination of the state’s capital punishment program, and their findings reflected what has been discovered in many other states. Oklahoma’s death penalty is dangerously flawed, has led to wrongful convictions, and it costs far more than life without parole.

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Racist hate mail a reminder of the death penalty’s true colors

Last month, an African American prosecutor in central Florida received an especially disturbing piece of hate mail: a racist note and a noose.

The prosecutor, State Attorney Aramis Ayala, made national news earlier this year when she announced she would not seek the death penalty in future cases. Her constituents broadly supported the decision, and a grassroots movement sprang up in support. But Florida’s Governor Rick Scott made the reactionary decision to transfer all her death penalty eligible cases to a neighboring prosecutor.

The specter of a white Governor stripping the state’s first black States Attorney of almost two-dozen cases for exercising her lawful discretion was discomfiting enough. But that battle is now buried in a thicket of legal arguments.

Lest the courtroom drama obscure the obvious racial implications of the entire saga, a noose in the mail brings them back into stark relief.

A noose is not just a threat; it’s a symbol of lynchings – which themselves were precursors to the modern death penalty.

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