About Us

Who We Are

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) is a national grassroots organization dedicated to the abolition of capital punishment. We have active chapters and members across the United States—including California, Texas, Delaware, New York, and Chicago. To win abolition, we need to build a grassroots struggle. We believe that those who have experienced the horrors of death row first hand–death row prisoners themselves and their family members–should be at the forefront of our movement. Their experiences help to shape our strategies.

Board of Directors

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty holds an annual convention where the board for the coming year is voted on as well as national inititaves for the year. Current board members are:

Crystal Bybee, Pat Foley, Jack Bryson, Lawrence Hayes, Liliana Segura, Yusef Salaam, Sandra Joy, Barbara Lewis, Mark Clements, Lily Hughes, Delia Perez Meyer, Terri Been, and Marilyn Shankle-Grant. Sandra Reed is an Honorary Board Member.

Campaign Staff Includes:

Mark Clements, Randi Jones Hensley, Lily Hughes, Marlene Martin, and Pat Foley

What We Do

CEDP chapters are involved in specific cases, especially those of innocent men on death row. We do education and outreach about the systematic problems with the death penalty, and encourage people - whether in churches, schools or communities - to get involved to end it. We protest executions. We hold events called "Live From Death Row" where death row prisoners call in live to an event and share their experiences and answer audience questions.

We hold an annual convention in November of every year, to share, learn, and be inspired. We hold meetings, go petitioning, host information tables. We visit death row prisoners, and connect with family members of death row prisoners.

Why We Do It

At a time when the rest of the world has all but abandoned capital punishment as barbaric, not only does the United States carry on the practice—it carries it out in a way that echoes the racism and discrimination that the civil rights movement was fought to combat. The victories that the abolitionist movement has achieved are a testament to grassroots struggle.

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty is proud to play a role in this movement. We helped to win the freedom of men like Madison Hobley and Ryan Matthews. We spearheaded the fights that stopped the executions of death row prisoners Kevin Cooper in California, Kenneth Foster in Texas and Eugene Colvin-El in Maryland. We were part of efforts that lead to a statewide moratorium and blanket commutations in Illinois. We were part of the effort to keep the death penalty out of New York. And in Texas—the belly of the death penalty beast—with a virtual assembly line of executions, the CEDP and other abolitionists have continued to organize and mobilize against the race to execute.

Abolition will not come from the desks of local politicians or the power brokers in Washington, whose lives have likely never been touched by the death penalty and whose careers have often been bolstered by it. Abolition can only come from organizing within communities and from people demanding a change. We need to organize a grassroots fight back made up of ordinary people and family members to stand up against this system of injustice.