Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty coordinates and encourages the efforts of local individuals and groups to promote alternatives to the death penalty. Our members represent diverse backgrounds and persuasions but are united by the conviction that capital punishment is bad public policy.
The organization came into being in the 1970s, at the time that capital punishment was reinstated in Florida. Founded under the name Citizens’ Coalition against the Death Penalty, it has existed under a variety of names during its more than 35 years of existence. It is considered to be the largest and oldest grass roots organization in Florida whose purpose is to replace the death penalty.
Opposition to the death penalty often draws members into other issues related to criminal justice. Members become engaged in such activities as helping families of inmates, working to improve prison conditions, and maintaining contact with prisoners on Death Row. TCADP also cooperates with other organizations that have related interests: Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty; Equal Justice USA, Witness to Innocence, Innocence Project of Florida and local, state, and national organizations working for a moratorium on the death penalty.
TCADP seeks to influence public opinion and governmental policy at all levels by every legitimate means. Regular activities include the following:
- Regular communication with government officials in the hope of affecting public policy
- Letters to the editor, press releases, radio and television interviews, and other uses of the media to educate the public
- Public gatherings at the time of executions, to register our protest. At the hour of each execution, members gather in front of the Governor’s Mansion for a candlelight vigil and protest. On the following working day, members meet in the Rotunda of the Old Capitol at noon for a service to remember both the person who has been executed AND that person’s victim or victims.
- Public gatherings on other occasions to call attention to the issue
- Periodic communication among members about matters of common concern
There are several purposes that TCADP does NOT have:
- It does not underestimate the seriousness of crimes that have been committed or maintain that all those on Death Row are innocent.
- It does not seek to minimize the suffering of the families and friends of the victims of crime.
- It does not seek to spare criminals from punishment but to impose more appropriate forms of punishment.
Mary Anne Hoffman
Everyone who shares TCADP’s commitment and who joins our mailing list is considered a member. Join TCADP here.