My fellow abolitionist and Amnesty SDPAC Abe Bonowitz organizes this annual action — Starvin‘ for Justice: The Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty — and put out the press releases below. Wish I could be there. Maybe next year will be the last, and a big celebration to mark the end of the death penalty in the US.
40 Years after SCOTUS Upholds Death Penalty: Anti-Death Penalty Activists to Fast and Vigil for Four Days Outside of U.S. Supreme Court to Mark Historic Court Rulings as Death Penalty Use Declines
CALLING FOR THE SUPREME COURT TO DECLARE THE DEATH PENALTY CRUEL AND UNUSUAL AS MORE STATES ABANDON ITS USE
WHEN: June 29 and June 30 from 9:00 am until 8:00 pm
July 1 and 2 – around the clock, 24-hour presence (ending at midnight on July 2)
Evening teach-ins with noted speakers each day from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (SEE BELOW)
A public rally will be held Saturday, July 2 at 12:00 pm
WHAT: A four day liquid-only fast and vigil to mark the anniversaries of the historic 1972 Furman and 1976 Gregg Supreme Court decisions on the death penalty.
WHO: Exonerated death row prisoners, murder victim family members, 100+ anti-death penalty activists from as many as 20 states and several countries, and leaders of state and national anti-death penalty organizations.
WHERE: On the sidewalk in front of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, DC
The Annual “Starvin’ for Justice” Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty protest is a four day liquid-only fast and vigil to mark the anniversaries of the historical 1972 Furman and 1976 Gregg Supreme Court decisions around the death penalty. Participants in the annual event include exonerated death row prisoners, murder victim family members, death row family members, and various leaders in the national movement to abolish the death penalty.
This year, June 29, 2016 marks the 44th anniversary of the Furman v. Georgia decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated all death penalty laws in the United States, finding capital punishment to be applied in an arbitrary and capricious manner. July 2nd marks the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Gregg decision, which upheld new state death penalty laws and allowing the resumption of executions. A special rally and media availability will be held at noon on July 2nd to mark these, and other court rulings, as part of the Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at the U.S. Supreme Court.
This is the 23rd consecutive year that the Abolitionist Action Committee will hold its annual Fast and Vigil between the dates of these two landmark decisions. Activists, many of whom are fasting the entire four days, are traveling to Washington D.C. from across the United States and beyond.
We can arrange interviews with activists from your specific state or region. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or at 800-973-6548 with your request.
Highlights of this highly visual and interactive annual event include live music and evening teach-ins by death row exonerees, murder victim family members, death row family members, and noted activists, clergy and scholars. Please see details at http://www.abolition.org/fastandvigil/schedule.html
RAIN ALERT: In the event of rain or significant threat thereof, evening events requiring amplification will take part inside the United Methodist Church Building, immediately adjacent (across Maryland Ave. on 1st St.)
The Abolitionist Action Committee is an ad-hoc group of individuals committed to highly visible and effective public education for alternatives to the death penalty through nonviolent direct action.
Information online at www.abolition.org, or call 800-973-6548.
Speakers at the 23rd Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at the U.S. Supreme Court June 29 – July 2, 2016
Fast & Vigil Speaker Schedule as of June 23
Below is listed in alphabetical order by date speaking – not necessarily in order of presentations. All speakers are subject to re-scheduling. Others may be added. Programs will start close to 6pm and could go as late as 8:30pm depending on Q&A, musical interludes, last minute weather re-locations into the UMC building, etc.
Wednesday, June 29
- SueZannBosler – Murder Victim Family Member, Journey of Hope …From Violence to Healing, Inc.
- Dani Clark – member of the Community of Sant’Egidio (http://santegidiousa.org/) and is frequently published in the National Catholic Reporter and America Magazine. She will speak about her research on the case Texas death row inmate Ivan Cantu, which has significant legal implications for the ineffectiveness of counsel issue in Texas.
- JamesConnell – Defense Attorney in the Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions for Ammar al Baluchi
- JennMeeropol – Executive Director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children and Granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed in 1953.
- MichaelStone – Executive Director, Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
- JackSullivan, Jr – Executive Director of Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation
Thursday, June 30
- ShaneClaiborne – Red Letter Christians
- JoeD’Ambrosio – Ohio Death Row Survivor, Witness to Innocence
- RickHalperin – Fast & Vigil co-founder and Professor of History at Southern Methodist University
- MariettaJeager-Lane – Fast & Vigil co-founder, Murder Victim Family Member, Journey of Hope …From Violence to Healing, Inc.
- Father NeilKookoothe – Priest, Lawyer, Nurse, Hero
- Marilyn Shankle-Grant – mother of Texas death row prisoner Paul Storey.
Friday, July 1
- ShujahGraham – California Death Row Survivor, Witness to Innocence
- Ron Hampton – Retired Executive Director of the National Black Police Association
- LinwoodJackson – President, Delaware State Conference NAACP
- Bill Pelke – Fast & Vigil co-Founder, Murder Victim Family Member, Journey of Hope …From Violence to Healing, Inc.
- DeliaPerez-Meyer – Sister of a Texas death row prisoner
Join us also for the RALLY/MEDIA EVENT AT NOON on Saturday, July 2, 2016 featuring many of those listed here and more….
Saturday, July 2
Chuck Culhane, Furman Survivor – Teacher, advocate, former death row prisoner whose sentence was changed by the 1972 Furman v. Georgia decision.
Richard Dieter – Death Penalty Expert, former Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center
Magdaleno M.“Leno” Rose-Avila – Executive Director, Witness to Innocence
George White – Murder Victim Family Member, Survivor of wrongful conviction and incarceration, Journey of Hope …From Violence to Healing, Inc.
HaroldWilson – Pennsylvania Death Row Survivor, Witness to Innocence