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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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.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS

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What Happened to Crime in Camden? | 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.

What Happened to Crime in Camden?, CityLab
Five years ago, the police department in Camden, NJ was disbanded, reimagined, and born again with fewer officers, lower pay, and a strategic shift toward community policing. In 2017, they had their lowest homicide rate since the 1980s.

‘Bold step’: King County to look at youth crime as public-health risk, The Seattle Times
King County, WA, home of Seattle, announced that its Juvenile Detention Services will aim to create a “trauma-informed” approach to incarcerated youth. The ultimate goal is zero youth incarceration: “Credible research suggests that we can reduce crime by bringing a rehabilitative, public health approach to juvenile justice.” Continue Reading →

Funding available for groups serving crime survivors in Washington State

Washington State has opened an application process for organizations to apply for funds through the Federal Victims Of Crime Act (VOCA). If you are an organization in Washington that has a proven record of serving marginalized populations and underserved communities, you may be eligible to apply through this RFP process. The maximum grant award is $500,000.

Through our VOCA Funding Toolkit EJUSA can help groups determine if they are eligible, answer questions about the process, and provide some support for your group’s application. Download the toolkit here.

Find all official application materials here.

Note: the deadline is fast approaching – November 17, 2017. Continue Reading →

Lawmakers across the country re-evaluating the death penalty

Marc at MT capitol

EJUSA’s Marc Hyden speaks at the Montana State Capitol in advance of a hearing to repeal the death penalty.

State capitals are buzzing as lawmakers return for this year’s state legislative sessions. It’s no surprise that the death penalty is on the agenda in so many places, given the growing movement away from executions.

There has long been strong support for death penalty repeal in Kansas, but due to many circumstances, repeal bills haven’t received committee hearings in recent years. This year, a diverse range of Kansans – murder victims’ family members, faith leaders, those with law enforcement experience, and legal experts – were able to express their support for repeal in front of a House committee. The hearing room was standing room only with supporters of the bill, and those testifying in favor of repeal outnumbered opponents 9 to 1.

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