Say NO to Federal Executions!
(click to play a special message recorded in 2019 from acclaimed author and death penalty abolition activist Sister Helen Prejean)
The Trump Administration has restarted federal executions in a horrifying rush during a pandemic. After a 17 year hiatus, the U.S. Department of Justice has carried out seven executions since July 2020 - an unprecendented pace. To resume federal executions once again, especially at this rate, 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.
No new execution dates are scheduled but will be announced here when if they are.
Here is what you can do!
1. Sign the petition - We are currently directing our opposition to the federal death penalty to the U.S. Congress with this petition. Please sign and share widely.
2. If you are with an organization, join the sign-on letter and sponsor the actions - Endorsing organizations are asked to inform their members of this campaign, and to invite their members to sign the petition above and otherwise make use of the resources provided here. Get more information about the sign-on letter and sponsorship levels here.
3. If local to Terre Haute, Indiana, attend the execution vigils - Along with the local group Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance and other allies, we will be holding a peaceful vigil in Terre Haute, Indiana beginning an hour before each execution. We will gather at the corner of Prairie Hill and SR 36. – in the grassy area across from prison entrance next to parking lot of Dollar General. Additionally parking is available at DeBaun Funeral Home, 85 E Springhill Dr., which is 1.5 miles away, so shuttling will be available. To receive updates directly on the plans as they develop, join our email list and check the Facebook page.
Please note that due to safety concerns, we are not encouraging people to get on the government provided bus to be shuttled onto the prison property. But for those who wish to do that, the info on that process is here.
4. If local to Washington, DC, join the vigils at the Department of Justice - There will be a small, peaceful presence outside the Department of Justice during each execution. Location is 950 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
5. Join the live-stream vigils before each execution - We will be live broadcasting the Terre Haute vigil starting shortly before any execution appears likely to be taking place. Executions are expected to take place anywhere between 4:00 and 7:00 pm (Eastern U.S. Time). Changes and unannounced delays are always possible and unpredictable. Updates will be posted on Facebook and Twitter as available. View the vigils live on Facebook here (Facebook account not needed). Additionally, the Catholic Mobilizing Network will be having online prayer vigils on the day of each scheduled execution.
6. Plan a solidarity action/vigil where you live - In addition to the prison vigil in Terre Haute, 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 a 4'x10' banner image file here. And here is a sign from Amnesty International to print.
8. 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 critical federal actions. 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 12075.
9. Wear a death penalty abolition t-shirt or face mask - spark a conversation about what is going on with some visibility! Shirts and masks available for ordering on our merch site.
10. 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. Until this year, three federal executions have been carried out in the modern era, all by lethal injection, with the previous one occurring in 2003. Learn more about the federal death penalty at deathpenaltyinfo.org.
Photos from the July 2020 protests in Terre Haute, Indiana against the first round of federal executions. All photos by Scott Langley.