(click to play a special message from acclaimed author and death penalty abolition activist Sister Helen Prejean)
This summer, the U.S. Attorney General set five federal execution dates, one of which has already been postponed. The remaining four execution dates are considered serious and we are working to stop them, or if necessary, mobilize a presence at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana during them.
The first round of executions are scheduled for December 9 and 13. The second round is set for January 13 and 15, 2020. (Note that December 10 is International Human Rights Day.)
Here is what you can do!
1. Sign the Petitions – Over the last 56 years, there have only been three federal executions carried out, and the last one was in 2003. To resume federal executions once again is an affront to the progress this country has made in eliminating the death penalty state-by-state and bringing us in-line with international human rights standards. In light of this, we are currently directing our opposition to the federal death penalty to the U.S. Congress (sign the congress petition here) and to President Trump (sign the Trump petition here).
2. Attend, sponsor or endorse the main events in Terre Haute, Indiana on December 8, 9 and 13, 2019 – Along with the local group Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance and other allies, we will be gathering on the ground at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute in advance of, and during, the executions if they remain scheduled. On Sunday, December 8, 2019, there will be an International Human Rights Day Death Penalty Convocation, followed by a press conference, march and prayer vigil. A 7:00 am vigil will follow the next day at the prison for the scheduled execution. There will also be a concurrent indoor morning execution vigil at the Sisters of Providence Church in St Mary-of-the-Woods, IN. Full details here.
3. Plan a solidarity action/vigil where you live – In addition to the events in Indiana, people are encouraged to hold vigils and protests outside federal buildings around the country. If you are planning to hold an event in your area, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Death Penalty Action is providing downloadable signs and banners you can print yourself or at a local sign shop. Get the image file here.
4. Engage on social media – share our posts on this issue through Facebook and Twitter.
5. Donate to support the work on the ground – Your financial support is needed! Please contribute generously to help cover the costs of planning, organizing and implementing this action. Online donations (including PayPal) can be made here. You may also send checks or money orders by mail. Make checks payable to “Death Penalty Action” with “Federal Executions” in the memo line and mail to PO Box 89, Ghent, NY.
7. Educate yourself about the federal death penalty – The federal death penalty applies in all 50 states and U.S. territories but is used relatively rarely. About 60 prisoners are on the federal death row, most of whom are imprisoned in Terre Haute, Indiana. Three federal executions have been carried out in the modern era, all by lethal injection, with the last occurring in 2003. Learn more about the federal death penalty at deathpenaltyinfo.org.
8. Stay in touch! – To receive updates directly on the plans as they develop, please join our email list.