This came in from Death Penalty Focus:
The 7th annual World Day Against the Death Penalty will be celebrated internationally on Saturday, October 10, 2009. Every year since 2003, organizations committed to ending the death penalty have organized events around the world on this day. This year, across five continents, round tables, discussions, debates and exhibitions are planned. The list of scheduled events and information about the day is on the website of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Progress toward universal abolition continues each year. In 2008, only 25 countries carried out executions and 93% of those occurred in just five countries: China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States.  In 2009, the State of New Mexico joined the nations of Burundi and Togo in abolishing the death penalty. In addition, the nations of Kenya and Morocco commuted all of their death sentences earlier this year. 

To mark World Day in California, Death Penalty Focus is working to generate 10,000 signatures on a petition to Governor Schwarzenegger to “convert all current death sentences to sentences of life without possibility of parole, protecting Californians while saving $1 billion in five years” by November 10th. 

Please sign the petition today! Sign on Facebook or here.


In the interest of showing my hand, you should probably know that I am an opponent of the death penalty, and I found the link to this article in an email from Death Penalty Focus (a group opposed to the death penalty).  The article, “Trial by Fire,” is by David Grann, dated September 7 of this year, and is found in the New Yorker.  It’s admittedly a very long article, so many of you may not want to view it.  It details the circumstances of the lives involved, and the questions raised about all the evidence:  witness testimony that changed after what was first thought to be an accidental fire killing a man’s children was ruled murder by an arson investigator, the testamony of a jailhouse snitch, and an arson investigator who seems not to have been very scientific in his investigation.  As a quick sample, part of the writeup around the arson investigator’s conclusions follows: (more…)