This Sunday, civil rights advocates, religious leaders, and the families of crime victims will gather at the state capitol to launch a campaign, called Abolition Day, to end the death penalty in Connecticut. The campaign's immediate focus will be to educate Connecticut residents about the many flaws of the death penalty and increase support to repeal it.
Speakers will offer differing perspectives on the failures of capital punishment. Featured speakers will include:
Walter Everett -- whose son was murdered in Bridgeport at the age of 24
Rev. Dr. Davida Foy Crabtree -- Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ
Scot X Esdaile-President of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches
Deacon Arthur L. Miller -- Director of the Office for Black Catholic Ministries, Archdiocese of Hartford
According to Andrew Schneider, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut (ACLU-CT), who will also speak at the event, "A recent Quinnipiac poll revealed that the public is misinformed about capital punishment. We look forward to a long-term comprehensive education campaign to persuade the Governor and many others that the death penalty is an ineffective and unjust criminal justice policy that has failed us all."
A broad coalition of groups came together earlier this year to make abolition a reality, after Governor Rell vetoed a bill that would have repealed the death penalty in Connecticut.
"The death penalty does not deter crime, prolongs the legal process for victims' families, and wastes valuable resources," said Ben Jones, Executive Director of the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty. "In a system full of examples of economic and racial bias where innocent people are often mistakenly convicted, the death penalty clearly fails our state."
The coalition for the Abolition Day campaign includes the ACLU-CT, Amnesty International, Connecticut AFSC, Collaborative Center for Justice, Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ, Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Connecticut NAACP, Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, New England Synod, Green Party of Connecticut, Hartford Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Hope Out Loud, League of Women Voters of Connecticut, Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights, Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation, National Lawyers Guild, People Against Injustice of Connecticut, United Methodist Church, New England Conference, and Witness to Innocence.
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009 2:00 p.m. EST
WHERE:Connecticut State Capitol-North Lawn
210 Capitol Ave