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Texas is fighting to execute John Balentine, a Black man, despite evidence that the jury foreperson repeatedly used the “N-word” during deliberations, bullied other jurors, and even ripped up a note from a juror to the judge indicating that she supported a life sentence.

At least 3,373 people in the US have been convicted of crimes only for it to be later proved that they were completely innocent — and that’s only the cases we know about! How can we continue to allow our legal system to mete out an irreversible punishment like the death penalty?

Every child is worthy and capable of redemption, but children sentenced as adults in New Mexico still face the grim possibility of never leaving prison.
This year, I hope lawmakers will say yes to the hope of mercy by voting “yes” on SB 64. #nmleg #nmpol

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Children should have hope to leave prison

OPINION: Life without parole is a hidden death penalty.

www.abqjournal.com

On Tuesday, February 7, from 6 - 9pm, please join me at the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans for a book launch, signing, film screening, and conversation about carceral justice featuring Fox and Rob Richardson.

I’m devastated and outraged by the murder of Tyre Nichols. Another Black man brutally killed by police. This recurring nightmare has to end. Cameras and training aren’t enough to change law enforcement cultures that devalue certain lives, rooted in systemic racism and violence.

New Mexico could become the next state to abolish life without parole sentences for children. This would be a big step forward, honoring the potential for growth and change that every young person possesses. I’m with the NM Conference of Churches and @LutheranAdvNM.

New Mexico could become the next state to abolish life without parole sentences for children. This would be a big step forward, honoring the potential for growth and change that every young person possesses. I’m with the NM Conference of Churches and @LutheranAdvNM.
Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth @theCFSY

The New Mexico Conference of Churches: “We are here to urge you to provide meaningful opportunities for hope and redemption for juveniles incarcerated in New Mexico by supporting SB64."

Terence Andrus died by suicide on death row in Texas this past Saturday. His death sentence should have been overturned but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ignored the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion. Terence had a long history of serious, largely unaddressed mental illness.

“I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crime, rape and murder included. Capital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology, and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God.” #MLKDay2023

Elwood Jones was released on bond today after a judge granted him a new trial, finding that prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence from his defense team. Jones had spent almost 30 years on Ohio’s death row. Photo from the Cincinnati Enquirer’s gallery: https://www.cincinnati.com/picture-gallery/news/2023/01/14/elwood-jones-released-bond/11054193002/

20 years ago today, Illinois Gov. George Ryan cleared his state’s death row and commuted the death sentences of 167 people. Gov. Ryan’s act of moral integrity triumphed over political expediency and illumined a path for our nation. May we all walk in his light.

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“I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crime, rape and murder included. Capital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology, and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God.” #mlkday ...

Elwood Jones was released on bond today after spending nearly 30 years on Ohio’s death row. A Cincinnati judge granted Jones a new trial, finding that prosecutors withheld significant exculpatory evidence from his defense team. Photo from the Cincinnati Enquirer. ...

What a privilege it is to be able to share this special day of joy with my friends and family, in warmth and companionship.

I want to acknowledge all those for whom this day is especially hard. I hold you in my heart.

The photo below was taken at Christmastime, 2009, on death row with Manuel Ortiz. Today, 13 years later, Manuel is still on death row.
...

Felony disenfranchisement is a serious issue, especially in the Deep South. This presentation on Dec. 20th will provide valuable information for lawyers and non-lawyers alike on recent Louisiana laws that have changed voting rules for people who may have been disenfranchised before. In-person and virtual options available. ...

NEWS: Governor Kate Brown today commuted the death sentences of all 17 people who remained on Oregon’s death row. The Governor also ordered the immediate dismantling of the state’s execution chamber. Thank you, Governor Brown, for your courageous moral leadership! ...

Niagara Falls — March 1967 ...

It’s #GivingTuesday. Please donate to our work to end the death penalty. sisterhelen.org/donate/ ...

A little reminder about tomorrow… #givingtuesday sisterhelen.org/donate ...

Manuel Ortiz has been on death row at Angola for almost 30 years for a crime he did not commit. On October 13, Manuel will turn 65. It would bring a little brightness into his world to receive birthday greetings from outside. Angola does not let you send cards or postcards, but a letter on plain paper is fine.

If you'd like to wish Manuel a happy birthday, send your letter to:
Manuel Ortiz
Death Row, #349580
Louisiana State Penitentiary
ANGOLA, LA 70712
...

#GiveNOLADay is coming up — I only ask for donations to our ministry two times per year and this is one of them. You can make a contribution between now and May 3rd at the link in my bio. Thank you for your generous support! ...

Last Tuesday, April 5th, we launched the Louisiana Repeal campaign to end the death penalty at the Capitol in Baton Rouge. I was thinking about Pat Sonnier all day. He was executed in Louisiana's electric chair on April 5, 1984. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. And what I saw set my soul on fire. ...

Ray Finch spent 43 years on death row in N. Carolina, all for a crime he did not commit. He received a full innocence pardon last year. Ray died on Monday after less than three years of freedom. This tragedy was a result of prosecutorial misconduct and long-term judicial indifference. ...

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