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Help Support GFADP!

posted Dec 23, 2014, 8:42 AM by GFADP staff

Dear Friends,

 

Thank you for your support and involvement with Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (GFADP) in 2014! Your support of GFADP has been phenomenal. You helped us educate and raise awareness of capital punishment in Georgia and move people to action around Warren Hill’s case.

 

This is why I hope you will support us with a year-end contribution that will allow us to us to continue our work towards abolition of the death penalty in Georgia. 

 

GFADP is a diverse group of human rights activists, murder victims’ family members, law enforcement professionals, members of the clergy and legislators who believe that maintaining a capital punishment system in Georgia discredits our state, diverts public resources that could be used more productively, and raises troubling legal and moral issues. With your generous support we will have the resources needed to continue to work towards insuring a system of justice in our state that excludes the arbitrary imposition of this inhumane punishment.​

 

I am tremendously proud to share with you highlights from our work this past year.  Our movement has gained in strength, increased support for its goals and become more visible across Georgia.

 

With your generous friendship and support: 

 

GFADP will continue to fight for Warren Hill. As you know, the United States Supreme Court denied further review of Warren Hill’s case. Georgia courts have repeatedly found that Mr. Hill is intellectually disabled by a preponderance of the evidence. He is only at risk of execution because the State of Georgia requires a defendant to prove intellectual disability (formerly referred to as mental retardation) beyond a reasonable doubtthis is the heaviest burden of proof in the law and Georgia is the only state that requires it.  Although there is unanimous agreement by every doctor who has examined him that Warren Hill is a person with intellectual disability, procedural barriers have prevented Mr. Hill’s intellectual disability from being considered.

 

We’re working tirelessly with all of you and our coalition partners to make certain that Georgia changes its extreme ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ law to ensure that people with intellectual disability are protected from execution in our state.

 

GFADP will be able to enhance our grassroots organizing and campaign work through the Grassroots Initiative for Organizing and Transformation (GRIOT) Project. The GRIOT Project is an initiative dreamed up by GFADP board members and staff and one that we hope will serve as a model for other anti-death penalty organizations throughout the country.  GRIOT will allow GFADP to build a base of power in communities with the deepest understanding of criminal justice policies so we can transform the political landscape, build power, reframe the debate, and neutralize our opponents. It will also allow GFADP to cultivate and nurture leaders of color in the campaign to end the death penalty in Georgia.

 

As in past years, in 2014 GFADP led clemency campaigns on behalf of people on death row and organized vigils throughout the state to promote awareness of executions and mourn the loss of human life. Despite our efforts, the state went ahead with two executions in 2014. The loss of the lives of Marcus Wellons and Robert Holsey steels our resolve to continue raising our voices and publicly taking a stand against a futile and brutalizing exercise that makes us neither safer nor more whole. Your financial support is critical to lifting our voices as high as possible.

 

We are convinced that if more Georgians understood the realities of capital punishment, they would question its purpose. We also believe that the public should know that the system affects more than just inmates on death row. It creates suffering for the inmates’ families, harms the personnel who participate in the killing and damages our society as a whole. Our ongoing public education campaign aims to dispel myths about the death penalty and has culminated in numerous events at area universities.  We need your help to continue our education campaign and spread our messages throughout Georgia.

 

Two months ago, a North Carolina state judge ordered Henry Lee McCollum and Leon Brown freed from prison, one from death row.  Both men were proven innocent of the crime for which they had been convicted thirty years ago. The New York Times Editorial Board states, "Virtually everything about the arrests, confessions, trial and convictions of Mr. McCollum and Mr. Brown was polluted by official error and misconduct." Moreover, according to the New York Times and countless other sources, cases like these are "distressingly common."

 

Six people have been exonerated just this year, most recently Wiley Bridgeman on November 24. When innocent people are being removed from death rows across the country, often at a national rate of eight or more per year, what is the likelihood that other innocent people are being put to death?  This alone should be reason enough for us to bury our broken system once and for all.

 

GFADP remains steadfast in building this movement to abolish the death penalty.  If good intentions were all we needed in order to carry our mission forward, we would be all set, but we need the financial support of our members. 

 

With your help we can bring an end to capital punishment in Georgia. From the bottom of my heart I hope, I urge and I beg you to join us in our struggle. Please give generously so that we go strongly into 2015.​

 

With hope,

 

 

Kathryn Hamoudah, Chair

GFADP Board of Directors

 

 

P.S. Your generosity enabled GFADP to hire Dorinda Tatum as our first full-time lead organizer.  Having a full-time lead organizer is crucial for moving our work forward in the most effective way possible. Dorinda, a former GFADP board member and volunteer, began in May, and has been working tirelessly to build up GFADP’s campaigns and coalition-building efforts.

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