The machinery of death was halted last month in California, Florida and Maryland because of growing concerns about the inhumanity of lethal injection. Within a span of just a few days in December, a federal judge ruled that California’s current method of lethal injection violated the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment; Florida Governor Jeb Bush enacted a moratorium and set up a commission to examine the state’s execution protocol; and Maryland’s Supreme Court shut down its execution chamber to hold public hearings on lethal injection.
The anti-death penalty movement has seen some major changes in the last couple of months. One of the central emerging themes surrounding the death penalty debate is the cruel and unusual way in which executions are carried out. But the death penalty is cruel and unusual far before an inmate reaches the execution chamber. The people on Texas’ death row can attest to the inhumane nature of capital punishment from the time of arrest all the way to the gurney.
As of January 1, 2007 I will proceed with a Hunger Strike. The only thing I will consume is water and the beautiful spirits smiling forth from my fellow brethren proceeding likewise. I sent a sick-call to medical this morning in front of Officer Davison notifying them that I’m not only going on a hunger strike, but as long as I do such, I will not take my high blood pressure medication. Though I’ve always contested my blood pressure is high only as a result of these oppressive conditions; take away these oppressive conditions, you’ll take away my high blood pressure.
Campaign to End the Death Penalty National Convention 2006
More than 100 people gathered in Chicago on November 11-12 to attend the Campaign to End the Death Penalty’s national convention, “Thirty Years is Enough: End the Death Penalty.” The two-day conference provided an important perspective on the situation of the death penalty today, and inspiration for the struggle ahead. Unfortunately the New Abolitionist only has room to publish excerps from a small number of the many excellent speeches heard at the convention.