Saturday, February 28, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
From the Baltimore Sun:
Gov. Martin O'Malley led a march down a major street in Maryland's capital city to urge lawmakers to repeal the death penalty in what could be a close vote.
O'Malley this year created his own bill to repeal capital punishment after legislation stalled in a Senate committee for two consecutive years.
If the bill gets out of the committee, where it failed on a 5-5 vote two years ago, O'Malley will need 24 votes in the full Senate to pass the bill.
O'Malley, who is Roman Catholic, told an audience at a prayer breakfast before the march that he has only 22 votes, "but the Holy Spirit might have 24, so let's give it a shot."
O'Malley says the money spent on executions could be put to better use. He says Maryland should "not waste one instant, one day, one cent, one dime, serving death."
"It's a Beautiful thing...." Maryland organizers (l to r) Bonnita Spikes, Amy Fusting and Jane Henderson. Get involved with the Maryland campaign at www.mdcase.org
All photos by firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, February 23, 2009
The street outside the First United Methodist Church in Austin, just a block up from the TX capitol bldg and location of the TCADP annual conference, has been re-named for the weekend in honor of death penalty abolitionist and musician Sara Hickman, who is being honored today by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. The mayor has also declared today Sara Hickman day in Austin. All of this in recognition of Sara's efforts in support of TCADP's work to abolish the death penalty.
Here are a few other photos from the weekend:
Rev. Carroll Pickett accepting an award of appreciation from TCADP on behalf of Steve James and Peter Gilbert, directors of the film featuring Pickett, "At the Death House Door"
Abe Bonowitz, Director of Affiliate Support for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, updating the conference on happenings around the country and sharing perspective about why what happens in Texas is important to the work of our movement.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
As you may already know, MT's Senate Judiciary Committee passed our abolition bill, SB236, on to the Senate Floor, 7-5. The bill will be debated Monday afternoon, 2/16 starting at 1pm Mountain Time. Click here to listen live! In the above photo are the main speakers at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, left to right:
Ron McAndrew, ex-FL warden, who oversaw 3 electric chair executions -- one of which men he felt was innocent and one whose execution was botched, literally cooking the poor guy to death for 1/2 hour.
Marietta Jaeger-Lane, whose daughter Suzie was a kidnap-murder victim in a well known Montana case.
Senator Dave Wanzenreid, (D), sponsor of our bill.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Everyone who came received a yellow NM repeal t-shirt and button and the halls were packed all day with our nice red logo and the word REPEAL. We heard from people who have worked in the Capitol for 20+ years who said this was the single biggest presence they had ever seen on any issue in one day. There were at least 4 times as many people there this year than had ever been there for NM Repeal's lobby day in past years.
Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation (MVFR) released its new booklet, "Not in our Name - New Mexico" which was distributed to every legislator and which you may see for yourself at MVFR.org.
And Witness to Innocence was out in force with Executive Director Kurt Rosenberg, communications Director and exoneree Ray Krone, and also Juan Melendez and Randy Steidl.
There was some good media coverage, but most reporters are working on a larger story that will run once the bills pass out of the House and then the Senate Judiciary. Once we get to the Senate floor, its much more real.
1. Viki – welcome and introduce Representative Gail Chasey
3. Michelle Giger – MVFR member
5. Andrea Vigil – MVFR member
6. Representative Moe Maestas
7. Randy Steidl – exoneree
9. Cathy Ansheles - MVFR
11. Allen Sanchez – Catholic Bishops
12. Viki wrap up
PHOTOS: After the 3 crowd shots, we have Ray Krone and Holly Beaumont of the New Mexico Council of Churches. Next is Alexandria (wearing a button!), an assistance dog belonging to Bree Songer, a member of MVFR whose brother Jeffrey Songer was murdered in 1983. Next are MVFR-NM members Michelle Giger, Andrea Vigil, and Cathy Ansheles. And finally, Kurt, Kim and Viki evaluate the
day.... Photos by Jane Davis and Abe Bonowitz.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
The posted schedule...
Following testimony of the bill sponsor Gail Chasey and murder victim family member Michelle Geiger, the chair asked for a show hands of those here in support of the bill. All but two DA's present raised their hands....
Head of the state League of Women Voters weighing in....
After extensive debate, the NM House Judiciary Committee just voted 8 to 5 to send the bill to abolish the death penalty to the house floor. Below photo is MVFR member Michelle Giger immediately following the vote.