On the Sunday after he walked out of Shelby County Jail, Timothy McKinney was strolling through the Memphis Botanical Gardens, when he stopped to look at the ducks. They were Mallards, two males and one female, and a handful of ducklings, splashing around a fountain, their feathers shimmering in the sunlight.
“It’s beautiful,” he said, watching the mother. “So much detail. The brown, the light brown.” He said he’d like to paint a picture of one, thought it might take him a week to get it right. I pointed out the iridescent patch on the wing, deep blue and visible when it caught the light. “It’s changing—on the little fin!” he exclaimed. “Wow.”
We lost our wonderful friend and fighter Caitlin Adams on June 24, 2013, after her long struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Caitlin met the Campaign to End the Death Penalty three years ago and quickly took on, with great zeal, the fight to free Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed. She was already suffering the debilitating effects of the disease that made it difficult for her to walk and talk, yet she nonetheless visited Rodney regularly, and wrote and advocated on his behalf in countless ways.
As anyone who met her knows, Caitlin was a warm, outgoing and incredibly caring person, but she wasn’t soft. I remember her telling me to read the 700-page book “Texas Tough” by Robert Perkinson, which she said taught her a lot about the criminal justice system historically, with its focus on Texas. Caitlin embodied “Texas Tough” in the best way in how she pushed on, despite the weakness and pain caused by her illness.
"Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough", edited by Kenneth E. Hartman. The Other Death Penalty Project, 2013, $14.95.
By: Judith Tannenbaum
This important anthology about Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP) sentencing contains two dozen essays, memoirs, poems and journalistic reports written almost entirely by people serving the sentence.
Too Cruel ends with an exhortation in which readers are offered five suggestions for action. The first is: “Sit down and write a letter to one of the big death penalty abolition groups and ask them to stop supporting life without the possibility of parole as an ‘alternative’ to executions.” As a death penalty abolition group that did not support California’s recent Proposition 34, largely because of that initiative’s support of LWOP, CEDP understands.
This year, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) was represented for the first time at the Fifth World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Madrid, Spain. The World Congress is held every three years in different locales and is organized by the French abolition group Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM) in partnership with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. Taking place from June 12-15, the event featured plenary sessions, roundtable discussions, workshops, social gatherings and much more.
Many of us hoped we were about to see the beauty of history being made when we made our way to our nation’s capital for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The event was designed to show appreciation for the sacrifices of Dr. Martin Luther King and many other activists to help African American people gain a form of identity.
I was excited getting on the bus with all sorts of activists. The bus left Chicago on August 23 at 5:42 p.m. amid a lot of television cameras focused on those boarding the buses. It was quite a trip, riding all night in somewhat uncomfortable conditions, looking at the mountains in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We finally arrived in Washington, D.C., at 10:17 a.m. the next day. We were all excited.
The Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) stays afloat financially through our monthly sustainer program.
This program makes it easy for everyone to be a part of the fight to abolish the death penalty, no matter where you are or how limited your time is. Once a month, funds are automatically taken out of your account or charged to your credit card, and donated to the CEDP. These funds are used for publishing the New Abolitionist, organizing events, sending out mailings and sustaining the work at our national office.
To join this important program contact Lily Hughes at lily@nodeathpenalty org or visit our website at NoDeathPenaly.org and download the form to mail in. You can donate as little as $5 a month, or more if you are able.