Friday, March 04, 2005

The NCADP Execution Board

NCADP “lives” in a row house on Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast. We’re in sight of the U.S. Capitol, but our locale is quite the opposite of Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, which is where the high-powered lobbyists live and where the real estate value represents quite a hefty chunk of change.

Our little row house is two stories, plus a basement that we’ve converted into a conference room and intern area. A split staircase divides the main floor from the top floor.

In the middle of this split staircase, on the wall, is the NCADP Execution Board.

At the beginning of each month, NCADP’s Jesuit Volunteer, Sarah Wisely, writes down the name of each person scheduled for execution that month. The board is a calendar of that month, so depending on how many executions we have scheduled, it might have a lot of writing on it or it might just have a little.

This month, the NCADP Execution Board has a lot of writing on it.

Sarah notes the day and time of the scheduled execution, the state where it is occurring and the number of executions for the year as well as since 1976, when executions were allowed to resume. (Right now, the count is six for the year and 950 since 1976.)

As the month progresses, Sarah puts a green line through the names of the people who receive stays (we try not to use the words “inmate” or “death row inmates” at NCADP, but rather prefer the phrasing, “people on death row” or “men and women on death row.”) If a person is executed, a red mark is put over their name. And in the rare event of a commutation, they get a blue mark.

Why is this board important?

Many things that we do as part of working at a nonprofit don’t seem immediately connected to the human aspect of the death penalty. You may be the executive director and you’re finalizing a grant report. You may be the office manager and you’re processing check requests, making sure vendors get paid or trying to get someone who can fix the heater in the basement. You may be the lowly communications guy (ha! That’s me!) and you find yourself spending a day working to build a media list, arranging a conference call or doing a radio interview with a community radio station in Los Angeles.

All of these things are important in their own way and are integral to the running of a nonprofit. But the Execution Board serves a daily reminder of the importance and human aspect of the work that we do.

1 comment:

Marketing man said...

You have an incredible blog here! I really enjoyed the topic you chose to write about. I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a business opportunity seeker site. It pretty much covers business opportunity seeker related stuff. Come and check it out if you get time :-)