The Campaign is also helping Lawrence get back on his feet financially after his ordeal.
Donations may be sent in care of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, P.O. Box 25730, Chicago, IL 60625.
On December 8, 1999, Lawrence Hayes walked out of the Woodbourne prison in upstate New York, a free man for the first time in 19 months. The Campaign to End the Death Penalty activist was supposed to spend five years in jail for a bogus parole violation, but continued protests won his early release.
This is how an aide to Illinois Gov. George Ryan described the death-penalty system in Illinois. On January 31, Ryan said he was stopping all executions in Illinois because the system is "fraught with error and has come so close to the ultimate nightmare... Until I can be sure with moral certainty that no innocent man or woman is facing a lethal injection, no one will meet that fate."
There is no time limit on Ryan's action, but it is similar to the proposals for a moratorium on capital punishment that abolitionists have been fighting for.
The year 2000 will be the most critical year ever faced by Pennsylvania death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Convicted in a sham trial of murdering Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, Mumia was sent to death row in 1982. After nearly two decades, Mumia's attorneys now have the opportunity for a hearing in federal district court on crucial evidence that would demonstrate his innocence -- evidence never before heard in any court. But a rejection of this appeal means that Pennsylvania could set an execution date in the coming months.
Prosecutors Scheme To Send Nathson Fields Back To Death Row
By: Nate Goldbaum
Just as Illinois death penalty prisoner Nathson Fields and his supporters have begun to prepare themselves for trial, prosecutors have gone on the attack. Fields was convicted in a gang double-murder 15 years ago and sent to death row by dishonest police investigators and corrupt former judge Thomas Maloney, the first judge ever convicted and sent to jail for accepting bribes in exchange for lower sentences.
The year 2000 is already showing signs of being a highly charged time around the issue of the death penalty. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, "The number of countries that have stopped implementing the death penalty has grown to an all-time high of 105." But the United States continues to buck the world trend with a vengeance -- by increasing its use of the death penalty.
Greetings of peace be unto you and the ever-diligent Campaign to End the Death Penalty. Thank you to the Campaign for your resounding and dedicated support in our struggle for my release and exoneration.
In 1999, the United States carried out 98 executions, the highest number since 1976 when the death penalty was reinstated. Texas led the way. With the mandate of its governor, George W. Bush, it killed 35 inmates -- far more than any other state.
But as states across the country engaged in this killing spree, the number of people freed from death row also grew. Last year, a total of eight people were freed and exonerated, the second highest number since 1973.
A lot of good material has been published in the last several years exposing the injustices of the death penalty.
But a double take is in order when Benetton, one of Italy's leading clothes-makers, turns its advertising machine against capital punishment. In January, Benetton produced a 100-page glossy magazine insert containing pictures and interviews with 25 death row inmates from around the U.S.
Eugene Colvin-El is scheduled to be the next person to die in Maryland's death chamber. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently reviewing Eugene's final appeal and could make a decision at any time. If the court rejects Eugene's request for a new trial, the state of Maryland could issue a death warrant for as early as March.
Like many on death row, Eugene has never received a fair trial. His lawyer was incompetent, prosecutors illegally withheld important evidence and the jury never heard the true facts in his case.
Directed by Norman Jewison. Starring Denzel Washington, Vicellous Reon Shannon, John Hannah and Deborah Kara Unger.
Director Norman Jewison's newest film The Hurricane tells the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a contender for the middleweight boxing championship, who spent nearly 20 years in prison for three murders he didn't commit. The film, which stars Denzel Washington, is an excellent condemnation of the racism and injustice that pervades the criminal justice system in this country.
The Death Row Ten are prisoners on Illinois' death row who were beaten and tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his detectives. In 1993, Burge was forced into taking early retirement and now spends his time fishing on his boat in Florida. But Burge and his cronies were never criminally charged.
In the summer of 1998, the Death Row Ten decided to form themselves into a group and asked the Campaign to End the Death Penalty to help them organize.
The case of innocent death row inmate Gary Graham (who has changed his name to Shaka Sankofa) is coming to a head in Texas.
Shaka is accused of killing Bobby Lambert in a grocery store in Houston in 1981. There is no physical evidence connecting him to the shooting, and there is only one highly unreliable witness who has identified him. Yet there are multiple eyewitnesses who say Shaka is not the killer, and several alibi witnesses who have passed polygraph tests saying that Shaka was with them at the time.
Hey, I'm a death row prisoner here in Texas. I'm not certain what you guys do! I've been on death row since 1990, and I cannot find any type of help.
I killed a man in self-defense, at his house partying. Then I got this great idea that if I made it look like a burglary, they wouldn't think it was me. I have no idea why. Anyway, the original lawyers I had in my trial did absolutely nothing for me. They had me admit to all the facts but did nothing to form my position of self-defense.
My name is Tony Enis, and many of you know me or are familiar with me. I am currently incarcerated on the condemned unit at Pontiac Correctional Center.
I fully understand and appreciate the fact that you are a group whose main objective is the abolition of the death penalty. However, what good is a life if one must exist without some of the most basic tenets of humanity: honor, dignity and common decency? It is in this vein that I wish to speak to you now.
I was a little down until I received your beautiful Christmas card. I'm writing to thank everyone that works with the Campaign for sending me the card and for thinking about me this time of year. This is the only card I got, so I thank you all very much. Please if anyone is interested in having a pen friend, I'd love to write them. I don't get any mail, and I would love to have someone to write to. I'll end this now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Donnetta Hill 0B4096
P.O. Box 180, Muncy, PA 17756