Sant´Egidio: City Council of West Hollywood as the join CitiesforLife to abolish the death penalty (Twitter)

Sant’Egidio DC@SantegidioDC                                6h

Honored to address the City Council of West Hollywood as they join @CitiesforLife to abolish the death penalty.


PAUL HOWELL: Rick Scott put a Hold on the Execution! Now here is a PETITION!

2013/3/12 Peacebuilders with Justice of Florida <>

Brothers and Sisters,

Rick Scott put a hold (temporary) on the execution of Paul Howell. Even the governor is having second thoughts!

Those of us on this path see the injustice of the legal system that sends so many to Death Row and later realizes it failed to prove its case. The failure is seen in the number of exonerations. Florida as more failures than any other state. People’s lives are taken whether by years in prison or the killing chamber.

We want to educate people because when people know the truth about the system, they will see the need to halt the death penalty until it has been studied. Many are working for this cause: here are some good people you might know who have worked to halt Florida’s executions. Joe Durocher was Public Defender for Orange County for 25 years. Rita Lucey, Miguel Rodriguez, Adele Azar-Rucqois and many others, more than 1000 others in fact have signed the petition.

But the man who knows the most is Mark Eliot who has devoted years of his life putting together the facts. To see details about the system, go to Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. There you will see statistics on race, the impact on families of the victims and on the families of the person accused of the crime. You can compare costs between life in prison and execution. You’ll find this and many other details at

Then read our petition and stand with us. Send the petition to all your friends and colleagues, co-workers and neighbors. Encourage them not just to sign but to pass it on.

Here’s the link:

Blessings on us all–
Penny Villegas and friends

“How Insane Does One Have to be to Avoid Being Executed?”

Circle of Hope: Speak out against Death Penalty

Anti-Death Penalty crusader Sister Helen Prejean
Anti-Death Penalty crusader Sister Helen Prejean (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Scooped by Circle of Hope

new efforts under way to abolish death penalty in washington

Death penalty statutes in the united states2
Death penalty statutes in the united states2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New efforts under way to abolish death penalty in Washington

Those Voters & the Death Penalty

GET UPDATES FROM Gabriel Daniel Solis

California‘s Death Penalty Vote: It’s Time to Reconsider “Justice”

Posted: 11/15/2012 6:14 pm
On Election Day, 52 percent of California voters cast ballots to keep the death penalty.

Such a small margin suggests that voters may be inching closer to abolishing capital punishment in the state. Advocates ran a well-coordinated, anti-death penalty campaign that offered compelling moral, legal and fiscal arguments that did not take hold of the electorate. So why did the majority vote to keep the death penalty?

Some commentators have noted that voters’ decision to keep the death penalty was based more on their conception of “justice” than these other arguments. They suggest that the vote indicates a belief that “justice” for a murder victim can be only achieved when the murderer’s life is taken away — an “eye for an eye.”

The notion that justice for a crime equals the most extreme punishment is a commonly held conviction in the United States. For example, when President Obama pledged that “justice will be done” in response to the recent attacks on the U.S. Mission in Libya, the automatic assumption was that he meant that those deemed responsible would be killed.

Unfortunately, public and media discussions of crime ignore the widespread and devastating effects of crime — including the actual crime and the punishment itself — on society beyond the victim and the perpetrator. Such a discourse cultivates a narrow conception of justice that ignores the societal reverberations and total human costs of policies like the death penalty and mass incarceration.

For example, in our country there are countless families broken with loved ones sitting in prison cells and on death row. Many of these prisoners have serious mental illnesses, which may have contributed to their crimes, yet continue to suffer without adequate treatment. Other prisoners continue to endure untreated psychological trauma, themselves victims of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

The current criminal justice system does not recognize or take into account the stories of these individuals beyond the crime. As a result, their suffering becomes invisible.

A complete concept of justice should more fully consider and understand the suffering of all those affected by crime. Justice should not be narrow, but expansive. It should consider all the contributing factors and consequences of crime and violence. It should go beyond simple reactionary instincts to punish, but instead focus on shared humanity and shared suffering. Justice should never be satisfied with incomplete narratives about crime that lead to harsh punishment, but should instead always strive toward fairness, equality and inclusion.

Those seeking to reform the criminal justice system should work to educate the public about the stories of all those who suffer at the hands of the criminal justice system. The public, the media and lawmakers can then begin to understand the effects of the instinct to see justice as simply punishment. These stories will reshape the concept of justice.

The vote in California to keep the death penalty — and other unsuccessful efforts to reform the broken criminal justice system — provides an opportunity to reflect on how the country can reconsider its collective understanding of justice.

Gabriel Daniel Solis is a Research Associate in the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.