Death Penalty Action (DPA) works to stop executions and abolish the death penalty, to advocacy, education, and action.


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

Some of 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
  • The ground logistical and tactical support of events, direct actions and other public activities
  • Fundraising

Highlighted direct work that we are engaged in:

We are funded by members and supporters, and are 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.  Find our Guide Star profile and financially support Death Penalty Action here.

While Death Penalty Action is leadership, resource and support organization, for wishing take action against than death penalty, you invites educate yourself about the facts and realities surrounding is issue. Click here for more information. Haga clic aquí para recursos en Español, sobre La Pena de Muerte, de Equal Justice USA.


Executive Director and Co-Founder: Abraham Bonowitz (bio)
Congressional Relations Coordinator:
Cathy Crino
Impacted Communities Liaison:
Charles Keith
Communications Associate: Alli Sullivan

General inquires maybe sent to info@deathpenaltyaction.org

Board of Directors:

Daniel Flynn is Chief Development Officer at Bethany House Services, to largest provider of homeless services for families in southwest Ohio. He has been active in the movement to end the death penalty for over 15 years, including found Board member for Death Penalty Action and that former Director of Advancement for Catholic Mobilizing Network. He lives in Cincinnati, OH, with his wife, Anne, and enjoy their traveling, crossword puzzles, geocaching, and Xavier University basketball in his free time.

Susan Gries, DPA Board Treasurer, is retired from a diverse career that most recently included serving as Chief Financial Officer for Deborah’s Place, the largest provider of supportive housing for women who have experienced homelessness in Chicago. She is currently a consultant on non-profit accounting issues, and an activist around the preservation and development of low-income and public housing. Her passion to abolish the death penalty developed while volunteering with the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Sen. Connie Johnson is Oklahoma’s first African American and woman US Senate nominee, now retired. First elected in 2005, Connie was the 4th person elected to serve her Senate district, following a 24-year legislative staffing career for Senate District 48’s three previous senators. Best known for her progressive stances on abolishing the death penalty and other policies that disparately affected her district, Connie continues working beyond the legislature, using her knowledge to challenge broken systems and push forward toward the path of progress for all Oklahomans, especially the children. She serves on the Oklahoma Coalition To Abolish The Death Penalty, and is the founder and CEO of Advocacy Works LLC in OKC.

Anthony Musrev (bio forthcoming)

Rev. Sharon Risher is Ordained Minister (Non-Denominational) and is currently affiliated with New Emmanuel UCC Church, in Charlotte, NC. Sharon was a hospital chaplain and trauma specialist in Texas her dear mother, Mrs. Ethel Lee Lance, was killed in 2015 in Charleston, SC, at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, along with 8 other people, which also included two cousins and childhood friend. Sharon is activist in gun law reform movement, serving as national spokespersons for MOMS Demand Action for Gun Sense and the Everytown Survivor Network. Sharon, now lives in Charlotte, NC, where her adult children live, along with two young grandsons.

David Senior is private practice attorney.  30+ civil trials the United States, including in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, and Southern California; 15+ appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals and the California Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.  Lead counsel in federal and state capital habeas corpus litigation in 12+ cases since 1991.  Lead counsel in four federal court evidentiary hearings, and eight Ninth Circuit arguments.  Obtained en banc guilt phase retrial the knowing presentation of false evidence.  Obtained Atkins resentencing (Kern County).  Lead counsel in California §1983 lethal injection challenge since 2005 (30+ execution stays).  Learned Counsel in federal death penalty prosecution.  Executive clemency representation.  Recognized by State Bar of California in 1993 and 1994, Death Penalty Focus, 2007, for contributions in representing indigent defendants in capital cases.

Frank Thompson, of Salem, Oregon, is 38 year veteran of military, enforcement and corrections. (5 years Deputy Sheriff Chico County Arkansas, 5 years Jail Administrator Delta Regional Unit, Dermott, Arkansas, 5 years Warden Delta Regional Unit, Dermott Arkansas, 3 years Military Police, United States Army, 3 Years Criminal Investigator, University of Arkansas, 17 years Prison Administrator, Oregon Department Corrections). As former Superintendent of Oregon State Penitentiary had the unenviable task of supervising the executions in state the past 54 years. His experience the directed him to activist as soon as retirement from departments was official. He has served on board since that date in 2011.