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I wanted to make sure you saw Jeremy's message (below), which was sent yesterday afternoon, just as I was arriving at a press conference about the first anniversary of the execution of Troy Davis. One of the speakers was Kim Davis, Troy's sister. I was glad for the opportunity to spend a few quiet minutes with Kim, who has quite a powerful voice. Kim shared with me that, despite all that has happened, the family is holding up well. Click here to read a reflection by Troy's nephew, De'Jaun Davis-Correia.
Last night, sitting on my couch at home with my puppy, I phone banked voters in California about Proposition 34, the upcoming ballot initiative to end the death penalty in that state. I had my share of hang ups and "she's not home now" responses, but what is important is that I helped move a number of undecided voters into the YES on 34! column. It was actually fun, and it was easy to do. This is precisely the sort of activity YOU CAN HELP with as part of the national Coalition's new National Action Team. Click here to join the team now!
And tonight, people across the world will remember the outrage and dismay we felt when Troy Davis was executed despite serious doubts about his guilt. Those of you in the Washington, DC area are invited to join NCADP Executive Director Diann Rust-Tierney, members of Troy Davis's family, the NAACP, Amnesty International and many of our partners at this event starting at 7pm. And the NAACP has created this poster that you can download and display.
There's so much work to be done, and tonight, please take another read of Jeremy's message (below) and decide what more you will do to help end the death penalty soon. Personally, I'd like to urge you to become a Torchbearer with your tax-deductible donation (at whatever level is comfortable for you) to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Yours in the Struggle,
"This movement started before I was born. After tonight, our movement will grow stronger until we succeed in destroying the death penalty in the United States once and for all.”
-Troy Anthony Davis, Executed in Georgia on September 21, 2011
Troy Davis was right. Our movement has grown stronger in the last year, and we will abolish the death penalty.
That fact does not make it any easier to remember how I felt just one year ago as I sat into the late hours of the night with the TV on. I was following Twitter and bouncing between CNN and other news sites on my laptop, watching the fate of Troy Davis unfold. The greatest and most tragic memory I have of that night is when I allowed myself the hope that maybe, just maybe, justice would win out. Unfortunately for us all, my hope went unrealized and Troy was executed.
My hope for justice may not have come true last year, but I am not going to give up on our vision of a world free of the death penalty. Outrage over Troy Davis’s death DID galvanize support across the country for ending the death penalty. Our movement is stronger, Connecticut became the fifth state in five years to abandon the death penalty, and other states are lining up to follow suit.
Now is the time to get more involved!
In my previous position, I led the campaign that abolished the death penalty in Illinois in 2011. I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to help keep the momentum going and to continue the work I started in Illinois in my current role with National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
It's thrilling to be part of a win, and I am excited to tell you about three powerful ways you can be part of the next successful state campaigns to end the death penalty:
- First, our work is sustained by people like you who give monthly at a level that is comfortable for them. Counting on your regular support helps us know we can keep our programs running and even growing! Take your support of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty to the next level by becoming a Torchbearer. Torchbearers donate monthly to the National Coalition and are the backbone of the critical work we do each day. Click here to become a Torchbearer today!
- Second, you can be a part of our new National Action Team! As part of the intensive assistance that the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty provides to state Affiliates whose campaigns are on the verge of winning, we are forming the National Action Team. Any abolitionist, anywhere, at any time can help abolish the death penalty through remote means such as phone banking and online action. Get in at the beginning of this exciting project by signing up here. We are a national movement, and your involvement from any state across the country is a vital way to help project the power and momentum that will lead us to victory.
- Finally, let everyone in your community know that the fight to end the death penalty does not end with Troy. Click here to send a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper.
Join me and be a part of making Troy's vision of ending the death penalty a reality by supporting the National Coalition’s work today, by encouraging your friends and family to join the movement by forwarding this message to them, and by signing up to be a part of the National Action Team!.
National Strategy Counsel, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty