Lethal Injustice: Standing against the death penalty and harsh punishment

Date: February 7, 2011 6:00 pm
Location: Cities across the U.S.

A speaking tour to look at what’s behind our massive prison build-up, why so many people of color are locked up and what we can do about it.

From death rows to super-maxes, over 2.3 million men and women sit behind bars today. “Lethal Injustice” speakers are organizing on the front-lines of the fight against criminal injustice, taking a stand against the racist, prison build-up and harsh sentencing.

Book a Tour stop today! Bring Tour speakers to your campus or community: Email [email protected] for more info.

This national speaking tour will be featuring panelists including, exonerated prisoners, family members, activists, lawyers and scholars.

Mark Clements – former police torture victim, sentenced to life without parole as a juvenile

Martina Correia – sister of Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis

Jordan Flaherty  – journalist and community organizer; author, Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six

Lawrence Hayes – former Black Panther and New York death row prisoner

Victoria Law – author, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women

Anthony Papa – Rockefeller drug law survivor; author, 15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom

Marvin Reeves – exonerated police torture victim, released in 2009 after serving 21 years

Yusef Salaam – exonerated in the Central Park jogger case

Paul Wright – editor, Prison Legal News

Upcoming Tour dates include:

February 17
Wilmington, Del.

February 18
Rowan College, Glassboro, N.J.

March 9
University of Southern California, Los Angeles

March 19-20
Left Forum Conference, New York City (pending)

March
Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Mich.

April 7
University of Texas-Austin, Austin, Texas

April 15
University of North Texas, Denton, Texas

April
University of Chicago, Chicago

April
Harlem, New York City

April
DePaul University, Chicago

The Prison System is the New Jim Crow.

Date: November 11, 2011 8:15 pm
Location: Ventana Del Soul, Austin, Texas

This November, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is headed straight to the belly of the beast – Texas – for a weekend of struggle and organizing!

The murder of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia on September 21 horrified millions of people the world over – and has sparked a renewed national discussion of the death penalty in the United States.

That discussion, in the media and among activists, is about innocence and the death penalty – but it is also about the racism in the criminal justice system.  It shows the urgent need to strike a final blow to capital punishment and to challenge the whole INjustice system – the system that Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow. As Troy has said:

“There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.”

Our annual national convention will take up questions on how to build a movement that combats racism in the criminal justice system, supports resistance behind bars, aims to end mass incarceration and harsh punishment and makes the death penalty history.

And with Governor Rick Perry running for president, the eyes of the nation are on the Texas death machine and what activists are doing to fight it – we have a chance to shine a spotlight on the death penalty in Texas with this year’s convention. Click here to download the full program for the convention.

Speakers will include many former prisoners, family members of prisoners, activists, scholars and others.  Click here to see the full list of convention speakers.   

For a map of the hotel and convention site click here.

And we hope you will join us November 11-13 in Austin, Texas for our 11th annual national convention!

Register now for the CEDP’s 11th Annual Convention.

November 11 – 13

Ventana Del Soul

1834 East Oltorf, Austin, Texas

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Convention registration:

$60 with Saturday night dinner. $35 for family members, former prisoners and students. Friday night plenary is free to all convention attendees, otherwise $5 suggested donation. Click here to register.  Or you can mail in your registration to: CEDP, P.O. Box 25730, Chicago, IL 60647, make Check out to: CEDP

Hotel rooms available:

We have reserved a block of rooms at the Clarion Inn at a special rate of $113.85 (includes tax). To make reservations, call 800-434-7378 and mention the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. The hotel offers a free breakfast and is within walking distance of the convention site. Check out the Clarion website to view pictures or get more information. For more info, call the CEDP’s national office at 773-955-4841.

A limited amount of space will be available with CEDP members in Austin and will be worked out on a needs basis.

The Costella Cannon Scholarship Fund:

We have limited scholarship funds available to help cover the costs of travel for former prisoners and family members attending convention. To request a scholarship application or for more information please call our office at 773-955-4841.Please DONATE to the scholarship fund! Your generosity will help make it possible for those with financial hardship to make it to the convention. Click here to donate via PayPal right now!  

Or you can make a check or money order out to CEDP and mail to:

P.O. Box 25730 Chicago, IL 60625:

Ventana Del Soul – our convention site:

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty is excited to be hosting our annual convention in Austin at Ventana Del Soul – a unique venue here. Ventana is a charitable organization that provides foodservice and culinary arts training to young people and adults who are undermployed – with a emphasis on reentry support for the formerly incarcerated.

The Ventana Del Soul facility hosts a kitchen and café that is open daily, as well as a large space for special events and a group of smaller meeting rooms.  The venue offers catering services as well.  The folks involved in food preparation and working at the venue are part of Ventana’s various training programs, often through scholarships provided by the organization.

There are a few rules we need to follow at the venue – the first is no outside food or drinks can be brought into the venue.  The café has a full coffee menu, smoothies and breakfast and lunch options.  In addition we should be respectful of the space and the folks working there who will be setting up rooms and taking care of the coffe and water service throughout the day.

This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a charitable mission the meshes nicely with the CEDP’s commitment to fighting against the injustices in the system.  We should do whatever we can over the weekend to talk with and support the folks at Ventana Del Soul.

For more information check out http://ventanadelsoul.org/

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Among the sessions:

We ARE all Troy Davis: The struggle continues. “The struggle for justice does not end with me”—Troy Davis

The Prison System is the New Jim Crow!

Workshops:

Prisoner Resistance: From Attica to DRIVE to Pelican Bay

Rick Perry, Cameron Todd Willingham and the scandal of the Texas death penalty

Not in our name: How executions create victims on both sides

For the full program click here.

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Featured Speakers will include:  

FORMER PRISONERS: 

Lawrence Hayes – Former New York death row prisoner

Mark Clements – Former Illinois juvenile life without parole prisoner and police torture victim

Jazz Hayden –  Part of the historic uprisings at Attica as former New York prisoner and activist with the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow

*Also invited to call in from prison are California death row prisoner Kevin Cooper and former Illinois death row prisoner Stanley Howard (who remains in prison despite his death sentence being commuted)

FAMILY MEMBERS:

Sandra Reed – mother of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed

Sandrine Skinner – wife of Texas death row prisoner Hank Skinner

DeJaun and Martina Correia – nephew and sister of wrongfully executed Georgia prisoner Troy Davis

Jack Bryson – Whose son was on the platform with Oscar Grant when Oscar was shot and killed by Oakland transit police

Barbara Lewis – Mother of Delaware death row prisoner Robert Gattis

Terri Been – Sister of Texas death row prisoner Jeff Wood who was convicted under the Texas Law of Parties

Jeannine Scott – Wife of Michael Scott who was freed in the Yogurt Shop case in Austin, Texas

Derrel Myers – a member of Murder Victims Families for Human Rights and a long-time civil rights and antiwar activist

Lawrence Foster, Sr. – Grandfather of former Texas death row prisoner Kenneth Foster, Jr. whose sentence was commuted to life in 2007 

ACTIVISTS/JOURNALISTS/OTHERS:

Jesse Muhammad – activist and journalist with the Nation of Islam and the Final Call 

Liliana Segura – Independent journalist and activist with the New York City CEDP chapter and the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow

Elizabeth Gilbert – Author and advocate for wrongfully executed Texas death row prisoner Cameron Todd Willingham

Scott Cobb – Activist with the Texas Moratorium Network and co-organizer of the Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty in Texas

Jessica Escobar –  From the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition in California and a member of California Prison Focus

Donate to the Costella Cannon Fund today!

Caitlin Adams with Rodney Reed and his mother Sandra Reed.

Date: September 15, 2012 7:30 pm
Location: Everywhere.

It’s that time of year again!  Every year the Costella Cannon Fund helps brings former prisoners, family members, and murder victims family members together at the CEDP’s annual convention.  Here is a letter from Caitlin Adams, friend of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed and author of the blog Tales from death row:  Justice for Rodney Reed, explaining the importance of the convention to those who attend.  We hope that you will read this letter and plan to make an important contribution to this very special fund.  We appreciate everyone’s help so much and of course we invite everyone to attend our annual event in Austin, Texas this year.

September 15, 2012

Dear abolitionist supporter,

It all started with a simple neighborhood bike ride not two years ago.  On my ride, I saw a banner outside a home that read, “Innocent Man on Death Row: Free Rodney Reed.”

I had no idea that my life was about to change again in monumental ways.  A year earlier I was diagnosed with ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease.  What I acutely remember that day on the bike was a wordless sense of connection to this man I didn’t know – we had both been sentenced to death.  I knew then that I had to learn who he was.

 This was how I came to know the Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP):  through my incredible friendship with innocent Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed and his family.

 Shortly after meeting Rodney’s family and beginning my correspondence with him, I became involved with the CEDP.  I wanted to help in any way I could to free Rodney from his unjust incarceration and to end the draconian institution of capital punishment.  The CEDP has been a powerful ally and supporter for Rodney and his family over these long years of struggle – and they have given a platform to my blog, Tales from Death Row: Free Rodney Reed.

 The CEDP has provided Rodney’s mother, Sandra, with a way to use her voice on behalf of her son.  Over the years Sandra has spoken at meetings, rallies and, importantly, at the CEDP’s annual convention.  Sandra has been a recipient of the Costella Cannon Fund many times.  The fund was instituted to honor the memory of longtime CEDP member Costella Cannon, a loving mother whose son died while incarcerated.

 The fund provides assistance for family members of prisoners and former prisoners to attend the CEDP’s annual convention.  I attended my first convention last year and it was a powerful experience.  Hearing the stories of mothers, brothers, sisters of other prisoners, exonerees and former prisoner was heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.  Being together in solidarity and sharing hugs, smiles, and tears is a loving fuel that fires my efforts to this day.

 Will you help us to continue this tradition by making a generous donation to the Costella Cannon Fund?  Your support is much needed and appreciated.  Your donations are tax deductible.  I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generous support of CEDP’s ongoing efforts to create a better world for all of us.

 In the beautiful Lakota Sioux prayer, Mitakuye Oyasin – All are Related – we all are all the thousands of men and women murdered by the state, all those scheduled to be murdered by the state, all those wrongfully convicted and incarcerated.  We must stand up and shout with all that is in us – NOT IN MY NAME!  Giving generously to the Costella Cannon Fund is one way you can do just that.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

 In solidarity,

Caitlin Adams

Click here to donate today.

Register now for the CEDP’s annual convention!

Date: November 2, 2012 10:45 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Register now for the convention!

Once again this November, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is headed straight to the belly of the beast – Texas – for a weekend of struggle and organizing!

This year’s convention will take place the same weekend as the 13th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty – an event that will be at the heart of the weekend on Saturday November 3, at 2PM at the Texas State Capitol.

In addition to marching, we will be taking the time to talk about questions on how to build a movement that combats racism in the criminal justice system, supports resistance behind bars, aims to end mass incarceration and harsh punishment and makes the death penalty history.

Our convention is always a place for family members of prisoners, former prisoners, and activists to gather, share our stories and experiences, and strategize next steps forward for our organization and the cases we work on.

Click here to view the full program.

We hope you will join us November 2-4 in Austin, Texas for our 12th annual national convention!

REGISTRATION:

This year’s registration includes a special Saturday morning breakfast.  Regular registration is $40 including the dinner, and $20 for family members, former prisoners and students. There will be a Friday evening event which is free to all convention attendees and others.  Register now for the convention!

Or you can mail in your registration to: CEDP, P.O. Box 25730, Chicago, IL 60647, and make your check out to the CEDP.

BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM

We have reserved a block of rooms at the Clarion Inn at a special rate of $113.85 (includes tax). To make reservations, call 800-434-7378 and mention the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. The hotel offers a free breakfast and is within walking distance of the convention site.

Check out the Clarion website to view pictures or get more information.

For a map of the hotel and convention site click here.

CONVENTION SITE: VENTANA DEL SOUL

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty is excited to be hosting our annual convention in Austin at Ventana Del Soul.  Ventana is a charitable organization that provides food service and culinary arts training to young people and adults who are underemployed – with an emphasis on reentry support for the formerly incarcerated.

The Ventana Del Soul facility hosts a kitchen and café that is open daily, as well as catering services.  The folks working at the venue are part of Ventana’s various training programs, often through scholarships provided by the organization.

No outside food and drinks should be brought into Ventana Del Soul.

This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a charitable mission the meshes nicely with the CEDP’s commitment to fighting against the injustices in the system.  We should do whatever we can over the weekend to talk with and support the folks at Ventana Del Soul.

For more information check out Ventana’s website.

DONATE TO THE COSTELLA CANNON FUND

Every year, because of contributions like yours, we are able to fly family members and former prisoners to this annual gathering where they are able to participate, speak, share their story their pain and their hope. The fund is named after Costella Cannon, our dear friend and a fellow Campaigner who died in 2003. Her son was wrongfully incarcerated and a victim of torture and died while incarcerated.

The voices of family members and former prisoners are so important to the movement for justice. Politicians want us to think that the men and women behind bars are monsters. We know that this is not true. Family members and former prisoners put a human face on the criminal justice system. Their contributions to the movement are invaluable. As Lawrence Foster, grandfather of former death row prisoner Kenneth Foster once said, convention is a place where activists become family members and family members become activists.

Please donate what you are able to make sure that we have funds to get these important voices to our convention. We are so grateful for any support folks can give.  Make a donation online here.

Checks made out to the CEDP can be mailed to P.O. Box 25730 Chicago, IL 60625

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Featured Speakers will include:  

FORMER PRISONERS: 

Lawrence Hayes – Former New York death row prisoner

Mark Clements – Former Illinois juvenile life without parole prisoner and police torture victim

Darby Tillis – Former death row prisoner in Illinois

*Also invited to call in from prison are California death row prisoner Kevin Cooper 

 FAMILY MEMBERS:

Sandra Reed – mother of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed

Jack Bryson – Whose son was on the platform with Oscar Grant when Oscar was shot and killed by Oakland transit police

Barbara Lewis – Mother of Delaware death row prisoner Robert Gattis

Delia Perez Meyer – Sister of Texas death row prisoner Louis Castro Perez

Jeannine Scott – Wife of Michael Scott who was freed in the Yogurt Shop case in Austin, Texas

Derrel Myers – a member of Murder Victims Families for Human Rights and a long-time civil rights and antiwar activist

Lawrence Foster, Sr. – Grandfather of former Texas death row prisoner Kenneth Foster, Jr. whose sentence was commuted to life in 2007 

Activists:

Jim Harrington – Director of the Texas Civil Rights Project

Lily Hughes – National Director of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty

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Among the sessions:

The shameful record of the Texas death penalty:  From Shaka Sankofa to Rodney Reed 

Abolition breakfast:  Why we march!

One struggle:  The Campaign to End the Death Penalty and the new movement for racial justice.

Our vision for winning abolition:  How we fight matters!

Register now for the convention!