|------ Original Message -----
Cc: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2004 10:06 PM
Subject: Re: Death Penalty (phadp.org) For Immediate Release:
Congratulations on a job well done. I am so proud of
you Esther for working so hard and sticking to your beliefs. I will share
the good news at the convention this Friday and Saturday. I hope you can
attend, if not we will rejoice for you and the inmates on death row. Rosemary,
you keep up the good work too. We have all been in a fight for the lives
of others and I thank God for seeing some results in some areas. Take care
and May God Bless and Keep you.
Vote comes as juvenile death penalty bans move forward in Florida and Alabama
The Alabama Senate Judiciary
Committee voted 7-1 yesterday to suspend executions for three years while
the state's death penalty is examined for fairness and accuracy.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Hank Sanders, now moves to the Senate floor.
Sanders sited racial bias and incompetent defense lawyers as two flaws
plaguing Alabama's death penalty. The issue has gained attention
as a grassroots campaign spearheaded by Project Hope to Abolish the Death
The historic moratorium
vote comes as both Alabama and Florida Senate committees join a national
trend to raise the eligibility age for the death penalty to 18. The
juvenile death penalty bans move to the Senate floor in both states.
Wyoming and South Dakota passed similar bills last month, and the U.S.
Supreme Court will consider the issue later this year. Also today,
juvenile Ryan Matthews, on Louisiana's death row for seven years, will
be granted a new trial on the basis
"This recent flurry
of activity indicates that the problems plaguing our nation's death penalty
remain in the public consciousness," said Shari Silberstein, Co-Director
for the Quixote Center's Equal Justice USA program, which works for a death
penalty moratorium nationwide. "The Alabama Senate took an historic
step today to begin to address a host of problems ranging from racial bias
to incompetent lawyers to arbitrary application. This is truly the
result of a concerned
Over 60% of those executed since Alabama reinstated the death penalty have been black, compared to only 2% of the state's prosecutors and 4% of criminal court judges. A third of all African American men in the state have permanently lost the right to vote, more than any other state in the country.
"That is a shameful record for a state so closely associated with the struggle to secure voting rights for blacks during the civil rights movement," Silberstein continued.
The Alabama Senate Judiciary
Committee is the first legislative body to pass a moratorium bill this
year. Maryland's Senate passed a death penalty study bill by a vote
of 30-16 last month. North Carolina's House is poised to vote on
a moratorium bill that passed the Senate last year by a vote of 29-21.
Nationwide, over 3,300 national and local groups, businesses, and faith
communities have called for a halt to executions, including 110 local governments.
(For a complete listing, call 301-699-0042 or see the National Tally at
http://www.quixote.org/ej). To learn more about the Quixote Center's
Equal Justice USA program, visit