May 2005 Issue 35

Articles in this Issue:

They say death, we say no...

Take Vernon Evans off death row!

By: Mike Stark

Maryland death row inmate Vernon Evans was scheduled to be executed the week of April 18. Thankfully, the Maryland Court of Appeals stayed Vernon’s execution pending a June 7 hearing. While the court’s decision was welcome news, Vernon and several others on Maryland’s death row remain in serious danger of being executed. Therefore, local abolitionists decided to go ahead with our planned activities to protest Vernon’s execution and expand our focus to Maryland’s entire unjust death penalty system.

The truth about forensic evidence

How can "science" be so sloppy?

By: Liliana Segura

This past February, viewers of George Bush's State of the Union address may have been surprised at his call for DNA testing of evidence in capital cases.  After a war-and-terror-themed presidential race that made no mention of the death penalty, it was a moment otherwise buried under endless references to "liberty" and "freedom." Bush said, "In America, we must make doubly sure no person is held to account for a crime he or she did not commit-so we are dramatically expanding the use of DNA evidence to prevent wrongful conviction."

Don't let California execute Stan "Tookie" Williams

By: Phil Gasper

The case of Stan "Tookie" Williams--the most famous inmate on San Quentin’s death row--has reached a crucial stage, with the state of California more eager than ever to execute him as quickly as possible.  On February 2, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down Stan’s request for a new hearing by a vote of 15 to 9. His appeal of this decision will arrive at the U.S. Supreme Court in early May. If this is also turned down, he could face an execution date as early as this summer.

Thank you


A warm thank you to our monthly sustainers. We now have 50 monthly sustainers, and are well on our way towards reaching our goal of 100 by November 2005. We’re making a special effort to sign up new monthly sustainers to help guarantee a fixed and reliable source of income for our organization.

Keeping It Real

Any time is the proper time to oppose injustice

By: Pardoned Illinois Death Row Prisoner Stanley Howard

I was fortunate to give my first ever speech before a large crowd, and wonft forget the experience. Stateville Prison hosted a Black History Month event that was sponsored by "Amer-I-Can" and "Prison Ministries Fallen Men and Women of a Village." I was asked to speak as the inspirational speaker--along with six other prisoners.

Igniting the Flame

Speech given by Stan Howard for Black History Month at Stateville Correctional Center

Welcome everyone! I thank you for affording me this wonderful opportunity to speak to the Brothers here at Stateville Correctional Center. Brief intro: My name is Stanley Howard. I'm the proud son of Jeanette Johnson and William Travis, and the proud father of three boys and a girl, and grandfather of three and a half (another one on the way). I was born and raised in Chicago's world renown Bronzeville neighborhood, in Providence hospital, where Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the world's first open-heart operation.

War and the death penalty

RUSSELL NEUFELD is an attorney in New York City. This article is adapted from a talk given at the Long Island Ethical Humanist Society on October 24, 2004. The article appeared in the November-December 2004 issue of Justicia, the newsletter of the Judicial Process Commission.

The death penalty is something we impose on the people we send off to war, who get terribly messed up and then come home and do terrible things.

"My eyes were opened to our justice system"

Alan Gell tells about his nightmare in North Carolina

Former North Carolina death row prisoner Alan Gell spent almost a decade behind bars for the 1995 murder of a retired truck driver. Last year, he was finally exonerated and freed from prison. He told his story to Marlene Martin.

How did you wind up on death row?

Voices from the Inside

Death row prisoners speak out

The American way of injustice: They call it "harmless error"

The "death penalty" has always been a worldwide concern, and it has often stirred up very heated discussions because of its involvement with the political actions of government.

How can anyone say that therefs nothing wrong with the death penalty when there are many of us who have been falsely accused, tried and wrongfully convicted of crimes that we have not committed.

Highlights Of The Struggle

Reports from Campaign chapters around the country

California by Crystal Bybee

Meet the Death Row 10

"Torture in our own backyard"

By: Alice Kim

This page has been reserved for profiles of the cases of the Death Row 10, a group of men who were beaten and tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his detectives and sent to death row in Illinois. In summer 1998, the Death Row 10 came together inside prison and asked the Campaign to End the Death Penalty to be their voice on the outside. In January 2003, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan pardoned four members of the Death Row 10. The Campaign is continuing the struggle to win justice for those who remain behind bars.

Lessons from the struggle

Fighting to stop the death penalty in New York

On April 12, New York abolitionists celebrated a victory in keeping the death penalty out of New York. A committee of the State Assembly voted 11 to 7 against considering legislation to bring back the death penalty.This means that it is unlikely that any other death penalty laws will be considered in this legislative term--so New York will remain a death-penalty free zone! What led up to this victory and how the Campaign pushed to keep the "grassroots" in the middle of this fight is explained by DELPHINE SELLES, who is active with the CEDP in New York.

U.S. Supreme Court rules against juvenile executions

Another step forward

By: Marlene Martin

Undoubtedly, there was a collective sigh of relief when 72 juvenile offenders got the news that they no longer faced the death penalty due to the Supreme Court's recent 5-4 decision to ban the practice of sending juvenile offenders to their death.