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An Examination of the Death Penalty
March 17 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
We need to talk.
Join St. Paul’s United Church of Christ and PADP for an examination of the death penalty. We’ll be screening the documentary film, “In the Executioner’s Shadow,” sharing information about the death penalty in our state and nationally, and engaging in Q&A.
“In the Executioner’s Shadow” casts a penetrating look at the consequences of the death penalty through three powerful stories – the rare perspective of a former state executioner who comes within days of executing an innocent person; a Boston Marathon bombing victim who struggles to decide what justice really means; and the parents of a murder victim who choose to fight for the life of their daughter’s killer. As the battle to overturn capital punishment comes to a head in the U.S., this provocative film challenges viewers to question their deepest beliefs about justice. The film illuminates the oft-hidden realities entangled in death row, the death penalty, and the U.S. Justice system at large.
Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 4 – 7 PM
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ
126 Williams Grove Rd.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-examination-of-the-death-penalty-tickets-54440191077 Pizza will be served. RSVP so we’ll be sure to have enough to go around.
The breaking news out of California makes this the perfect time for this important conversation. Today, Governor Gavin Newsom took the historic step of declaring a moratorium on executions in California. Four other states have a moratorium in place — Colorado, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. The 737 California death row inmates represent over one-quarter of all those on death row in the United States. Just over four years ago, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared a moratorium on executions until any deficiencies identified by the recently-released state governmental study on capital punishment were resolved to his satisfaction. Governors Newsom and Wolf both pointed to concerns about racial bias, unfairness, inadequate defense counsel, and the risk of executing an innocent person. Five people have been released from California’s death row due to innocence. In Pennsylvania, that number is six.
Nationally, two of the five largest death penalty states – California and Pennsylvania – have not executed anyone in more than a decade. Overall, more than one-third of those now on death rows across the United States (34.1%) are incarcerated in states with gubernatorial moratoria — California, Colorado, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
This latest moratorium illustrates the decaying state of capital punishment. The death penalty has been disappearing, both in law and in practice, from the United States. Ohio Governor Tom DeWine put executions on hold this month to prevent the state from participating in torture. Last year, Washington State’s Supreme Court declared that the application of capital punishment in that state was unconstitutional.