By Chris Hedges, Truthdig
Murder, America’s Favorite Pastime
By Melissa E. Holsman
Condemned inmates could spend fewer years on death row and have less time for appeals under a bill being championed by state Sen. Joe Negron, which aims to speed up the death penalty appellate process.
Dubbed the “Timely Justice Act of 2013, the bill’s goal, according to Negron, R-Stuart, is to allow an inmate the opportunity to appeal a sentence of death in capital cases, but for the legal matters involved to be decided in a quicker manner than under judicial rules currently in place.
FAITH COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO THE DEATH PENALTY
Inspired by a suggestion and some ground work laid by Rev. Emory Hingst, several TCADP members put the finishing touches on a booklet of statements on the death penalty from approximately twenty different faiths. Nancy Smith Fichter and Robert Fichter worked to get as many statements as possible and to obtain the most current available. We printed 350 booklets and are making sure that every member of the Florida Legislature, Governor Rick Scott, and Attorney General Pam Bondi, all have a copy. Click the link to download a copy of this booklet published by TCADP as part of our lobbying effort.
Louise Reid Ritchie posted this on the TCADP FaceBook pageAfter Leonard Scovens strangled her daughter and 6-year-old grandson whom Agnes Furey had helped raise, Agnes helped keep Leonard from death row and subsequently established a written and telephone relationship with him that is helping transform them and many others.
Agnes, a retired Tallahassee nurse, and Leonard, a crack addict serving a life sentence in Florida, just published a book, “Wildflowers in the Median: A restorative journey into healing justice and joy,” that contains their writing and correspondence. Agnes now is taking readings of it to the public to introduce the public to the concept of restorative justice and to help people learn about its healing power.
The readings are done by Agnes along with two actors, and are performed at no charge. The experience includes a facilitated post reading discussion . If you would be interested in hosting a reading at your home or at another location, please contact Agnes via Facebook or: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The book and production are powerful examples of the importance of restorative justice — which, while holding criminals responsible for the damage they have caused, also provides a measure of healing for them, their families and communities.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected three separate applications filed by John Ferguson’s attorneys to attempt to stay his execution. Then late last night the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an order granting a temporary stay. John Ferguson will be alive for at least two more weeks. A small group of Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty held a vigil outside the Governor’s Mansion at 6 pm last night when it was not certain if the execution was taking place. Read More
The Death PenaltyIs a Cancer on our Nation’s Justice System
Steve Hanlon, attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Holland & Knight, will speak on the death penalty from a national perspective.
Hanlon was Chair of the Death Penalty Moratorium Project of the American Bar Association and Chair of the Constitution Project. The Moratorium Project researched and reported on the death penalty in eight states, including Florida, and found serious flaws in every state.
“In determining who gets the death penalty,” Hanlon said, “all too frequently, it seems to be not the person who has committed the worst crime, but the person who has the worst lawyer.”
“We just do not have confidence in the capital justice system after studying it,” Hanlon, told ABC News. “Capital defense systems are being underfunded, and unqualified and under-resourced lawyers are defending death row inmates.”
Monday, October 29
St. Thomas More Co-Cathedral
900 West Tennessee St.
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Sponsored by Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty
We are very sorry to report that, in an unusual move and in a divided opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals has lifted the U.S. District Court’s stay of the execution of John Ferguson. The U.S. District Court had issued the stay in order to hear arguments on Friday that Ferguson is incompetent to be executed. It is now possible that the execution of John Ferguson could proceed as previously scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6pm ET unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes.
We will send out an update as soon as more information comes in. Here is the latest news.
Please TAKE ACTION!!!
PLEASE contact Governor Rick Scott and ask him to convene the Board of Executive Clemency to commute the death sentence of John Ferguson to Life in Prison with No Parole, because he is incompetent to be executed.
Gov. Rick Scott – Phone: 850-488-7146
We got word from Mark Elliott of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty that the Governor has set the execution date
for John Ferguson for next week, Tuesday, October 23. The time is likely to be 6 p.m. A vigil will be held in front of the Governor’s mansion at that time. A Service of Remembrance will take place the following day, Wednesday, October 24 at 12 noon at the Capitol Rotunda.
Below is an editorial that appeared in the New York Times: “A Schizophrenic on Death Row.” Please read and share.
www.tcadp.net Read More
The Florida Supreme Court has denied the appeals of John Ferguson and lifted the stay of execution. This will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Reports are that a new execution date has not been set. We will send out a bulletin as soon as we know more. Read More
Editorial The Myth of Deterrence Published: April 27, 2012
One of the most frequently made claims about the death penalty is that
it deters potential murderers. That was the claim when the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. It is the claim today after a revival of research about the topic in the last decade.
But a distinguished committee of scholars working for the National Research Council has now reached the striking and convincing conclusion that all of the research about deterrence and the death penalty done in the past generation, including by some first-rank scholars at the most prestigious universities, should be ignored.
Read more in the NY Times
© Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty 2005
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