April 1999 Issue 2

Articles in this Issue:

Fund Drive Goal: $25,000!

Help the Campaign to End the Death Penalty

Credit: James Harris Sr.
The Campaign to End the Death Penalty takes on the Grim Reaper!

As the Campaign to End the Death Penalty reaches its fourth year, we should step back and look at our accomplishments. The Campaign has grown to the point where we now have chapters in 13 states. Activists in the Campaign have been involved with many important battles, from the fight for a moratorium in Illinois to the struggle to keep out the death penalty in Massachusetts.

The Race for Justice Is On

We Will Fight for Mumia's Life

By: Tristin Adie

Thousands of people will travel from around the country on April 24 to demonstrations in San Francisco and Philadelphia to demand a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

In what has already been an encouraging display of solidarity for the famed death-row inmate, activists have been organizing contingents to attend from trade unions, high schools, colleges, churches and community centers in cities throughout the country. Activists in other countries - like South Africa, France, Germany and Italy - have also pledged to demonstrate on April 24.

Moratorium Now!

Opposition to Death Penalty Builds in Illinois

Credit: test credit
Anthony Porter, cleared of murder after 16 years on Illinois Death Row
By: Joan Parkin

The release of Illinois' tenth wrongfully convicted death-row inmate, Anthony Porter, in February has sparked the first statewide initiative towards a moratorium since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.

Police Torture Victim Wins New Hearing

Justice for the Death Row 10!

Cops also confirmed the torture of Stanley Howard
By: Alice Kim

Here in Illinois, the heat is on. The fight to win justice for the Death Row 10 has been central to the fight against the death penalty here. From police brutality to a racist court system, their cases expose all of the injustices of the death penalty.

California Activists Hold "Live from Death Row" Forum

By: Lisa May Norton

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty's Bay Area chapters hosted a "Live From Death Row" event as a featured workshop at the Mumia Conference held in San Francisco on April 10.

The conference was a big success, drawing more than 1,200 people from all over the western U.S. More than 160 people attended the "Live From Death Row" workshop, where Kenny Collins and John Booth, two death-row inmates from Maryland, spoke beautifully and candidly about their experiences.

Activists Stop Death Penalty in Massachusetts

Abolitions 2, Governor Cellucci 0!

By: Brian Jones

For the second year in a row, abolitionists have stopped the reinstatement of the death penalty in Massachusetts. On March 29, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted down Governor Paul Cellucci's death penalty bill, 80 to 73.

In 1997, Cellucci and pro-death penalty advocates used the tragic murder of a 9-year-old to win support for the death penalty - and it nearly worked. The bill went down to defeat in a tie vote after pro-death penalty Rep. John Slattery changed sides at the last minute - because, he said, of the possibility of an innocent person being executed.

Cops and Prosecutors on Trial for Framing Rolando Cruz

Rolando Cruz
By: Matt Nichter

Rolando Cruz spent a decade on Illinois' death row for a crime he didn't commit.

Now seven of the prosecutors and cops who sent him there - known collectively as the "DuPage Seven" - are themselves on trial.

Cruz and Alejandro Hernandez were convicted for the 1983 kidnapping, rape and murder of young Jeanine Nicarico.

Both were eventually released when DNA testing proved them innocent - and showed that another man, Brian Dugan, who had confessed to the crime, was guilty.

The Fight Today: What's Needed to Win?

By: Marlene Martin

Opponents of the death penalty today face an important question: What is the best way to organize our forces to win abolition of the death penalty?

In the past 20 years, the abolitionist movement has seen a deterioration in death penalty legislation and law. We've seen the defunding of resource centers that provided legal help for many on death row. We've seen the appeals process severely curtailed. And we've seen the pace of executions pick up to levels comparable to the 1930s.

Exposing the Cops' Gestapo Tactics

Andrew Maxwell
By: Andrew Maxwell

Andrew Maxwell is one of the Death Row 10 - ten men who were sent to face execution after being tortured by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.

Burge, the former head of police in Area 2, was fired from his job in 1993 for torturing more than 40 Black men. (See the article in this issue about the Death Row 10.)

"We Want The Same Human Rights We Demand of Other Countries"

By: Brittany Holberg

Thanks to Kathleen O'Shea for forwarding this sworn affadavit from death-row prisoner Brittany Holberg.

A most important issue right now is the outrageous treatment we are receiving here on the Texas women's death row.

The Death Penalty is About Politics, Power and Money

By: Ronald Kliner

I awoke at 3:30 a.m. to the sound of loud police radios and chains clanging. My name is Ronald Kliner, and I am on death row at Pontiac, Ill. I am supposed to die today for a murder I did not do, nor was even present for, but that is another story. I have a stay on my execution pending post-conviction appeals.