News

Statesman Journal focuses on death penalty and OADP: From hate to healing

One mother was able to forgive the death-row inmate responsible for killing her daughter, becoming an advocate against the death penalty

For years, Aba Gayle "lusted for revenge" against the California death- row inmate who murdered her 19-year-old daughter.

But everything changed when she mailed the killer a letter, saying she forgave him.

Inquirer Investigation: In life and death cases, costly mistakes

October 23, 2011 Willie Cooper, convicted of strangling his brother's girlfriend to death in a Germantown apartment, was awaiting a jury's decision on whether he should be sentenced to death, when his lawyer rose to speak on his behalf.  Read More

Listen to Sr. Helen Prejean's Stirring Speech to Portland City Club

On Friday, October 21, Sr. Helen Prejean told the amazing story of her life as the moving force of the American movement to abolish the death penalty at the City Club of Portland's weekly forum.  And what a story it is--from a privileged childhood in New Orleans to working in the St. Thomas housing project to accompanying six men to their deaths at the hands of the state to meeting the Pope and world leaders, writing books and talking to probably millions of ordinary Americans.  She speaks with unparallelled moral authority about America's death penalty and why it must be abolished.  Listen here:  http://pdxcityclub.org/content/death-penalty-oregon-and-america

New York Times Opinion: The Death Penalty’s De Facto Abolition

October 14, 2011 A new Gallup poll reports that support for the death penalty is at its lowest level since 1972. In fact, though, the decline, from a high of 80 percent in 1994 to 61 percent now, masks both Americans ’ambivalence about capital punishment and the country’s de facto abolition of the penalty in most places.

Oregonian Op Ed: The weight of 'playing God': In capital punishment cases, jurors are punished

October 14, 2011   Jurors are unrecognized victims of the death penalty.

I have been debriefing jurors after difficult, traumatic trials since 1999. I've learned a lot about how jurors are affected by their service. Many of these trials involved charges of homicide or child abuse, including five death penalty cases.

Newsweek: View of An Executioner: "I Committed Murder"

September 25, 2011 For the anonymous executioners of death row, the ‘high’ of pulling the lever is often followed by a lifetime of doubt.Only a fellow executioner like 59-year-old Jerry Givens would know how crushingly hard it will continue to be for those who put Troy Davis to death last week even as he continued to insist on his innocence. Read More.

OADP Statement on Haugen Case: Oregonians for Alternatives Oppose State-Sanctioned Executions

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP) will oppose the execution of Gary Haugen and all executions in Oregon. While this case has had front page headlines for months now, our organization maintains that the death penalty “system” is too broken to fix.

Gary Haugen Update: I'm ready,' Oregon death row inmate Gary Haugen tells judge; may face execution Dec. 6

October 08, 2011  SALEM -- This time, Gary Haugen made no long speeches about how the legal system is broken and its money misspent. No talk about dying with dignity or any detailed explanation about why the 49-year-old twice-convicted killer would rather end his life than spend his days on Oregon's death row.  Read More.

Death Penalty: Victims of a runaway train

September 29, 2011 Imagine a 200-car freight train like you may have encountered at a railroad crossing -- how slow to get moving, seemingly endless in length, on a course that can rarely be changed, nearly impossible to stop, incredibly dangerous if you get in its way. That's what the death penalty in America is like.

NY Times on Troy Davis Execution: An Indefensible Punishment

September 25, 2011 When the Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty 35 years ago, it did so provisionally. Since then, it has sought to articulate legal standards for states to follow that would ensure the fair administration of capital punishment and avoid the arbitrariness and discrimination that had led it to strike down all state death penalty statutes in 1972. Learn More

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