Death Penalty Action (DPA) provides high visibility resources, leadership, support, educational and direct action events and activities within the broader anti-death penalty movement. DPA is led by seasoned anti-death penalty organizers and movement leaders. DPA is prepared to assist various local, state and national groups in their work to end the use of the death penalty.

DPA has worked with the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Ohioans to Stop Executions, Journey of Hope… from Violence to Healing, and the Abolitionist Action Committee.  Click here to see an example of some of our crisis management & strategic communications work we recently accomplished.

Some of the services we provide include:

  • Planning and implementing public education activities in advance of executions and legislative activities

  • Developing and implementing a communications plan to highlight agreed-upon messages

  • Provision of signs, banners and other visibility tools for use in public protests

  • Collaborating with local staff and volunteers to ensure that organizations and coalitions build themselves

  • Marshaling the resources of national movement organizations across the country – including arranging for speakers and presenters

  • On-the-ground logistical and tactical support of events, direct actions and other public activities

  • Fundraising

We are funded by our members and supporters, and are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.  Find out how you can support Death Penalty Action here.

Abraham J. Bonowitz

Board of Advisors:

Chair: Shane ClaiborneRed Letter Christians, author

LaShawn Ajamuco-chair, Ohioans to Stop Executions Murder Victim’s Families Outreach Project
Kwame AjamuOhio death row exoneree, board member for Witness to Innocence
Allen Aultformer warden and director of Georgia Department of Corrections, retired dean
Rev. Leroy Barberpastor, activist
SueZann Boslermurder victim family member, Journey of Hope
Rev. Dr. Shawn Casselberryexecutive director, Mission Year
Joan Cheeverauthor, activist, filmmaker
Susan Claryconsultant, former journalist
Terry Collins (1953-2016) – retired director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction
John Dear, S.J.Pace e Bene, author
Jotaka EaddyFull Circle Strategies
Melinda Elkins Dawsonmurder victim family member, co-chair of Ohioans to Stop Executions Murder Victim’s Families Outreach Project
David Elliotcommunications director, Coalition on Human Needs
Jerry Givens (1952-2020) – ex-executioner, retired captain for Virginia Department of Corrections
Anthony GravesTexas death row exoneree, founder of the Anthony Graves Foundation
Rick Halperindirector, Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University
Griffin HardySister Helen Prejeans’s Ministry Against the Death Penalty
Lisa Sharon Harperspeaker, activist, author
Viki Harrisonformer director, New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty
Rev. Dr. Jeff Hoodtheologian, pastor and spiritual advisor on Texas’ death row
Sunny JacobsFlorida death row exoneree, Sunny Center
Derrick JamisonOhio death row exoneree, Witness to Innocence
Connie Johnsonretired Oklahoma state senator and candidate for OK Governor
Ashley Kincaid Eveattorney, activist
Ari Kohendirector, Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs
Ron McAndrewwarden, Florida State Prison (retired)
Jennifer Meeropolfamily of the executed, executive director of Rosenberg Fund for Children
Robert Meeropolfamily of the executed, founder of Rosenberg Fund for Children
Phyllis Pautratcapital mitigation specialist
Jack Payden-Traverssocial responsibility educator/organizer
Bill Pelkemurder victim family member, founder of Journey of Hope
Ken Roseformer executive director, Center for Death Penalty Litigation
Marilyn Shankle-Grantdeath row family member
Sam Reese Sheppardmurder victim family member
Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr.executive director, Ohio Council of Churches; co-chair, Ohioans to Stop Executions Murder Victim’s Families Outreach Project
Frank Thompsonretired prison superintendent from the Oregon Department of Corrections
Jennifer Thompsonco-author of Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption
George Whitemurder victim family member, wrongfully convicted, Journey of Hope
Carl Williams – former staff attorney at the ACLU of Massachusetts
Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitzfounder and president, Uri L’Tzedek: Orthodox Social Justice
Johnny Zokovitchexecutive director, Pax Christi USA


While Death Penalty Action is a leadership, resource and support organization for those wishing to take action against the death penalty, we invite you to educate yourself about the facts and realities surrounding this issue. Click here for more information.