Friday, May 11, 2012

PADP Philadelphia Sponsors "Execute Art Not People"

An annual event sponsored by Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty called “Execute Art Not People” will be held on June 1 at the Ethical Society of Philadelphia from 6 – 9 p.m.

This year, the event will focus on ways the Pennsylvania government can redirect funds to arts and education from programs like the death penalty.

At the event, there will be an interactive art project in front of the building as well as a free screening of the film “Concrete Steel and Paint,” which will be followed by a panel discussion with the film’s directors.

Featured artists who participated in Execute Art Not People include: King Britt, Kate Watson-Wallace, Tatyana Fazalizadeh, Paul Santoleri, Gianni Lee, Yis Goodwin and Lafayette Sanders.

The event will hopefully raise awareness about the tribulations of the death penalty, especially in Philadelphia where the system often finds itself under scrutiny.

For more information, call 267-639-6169 or email

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Singapore President Must Grant Clemency to Yong Vui Kong

In the United States, crimes related to drugs are not usually met with a harsh death sentence, but in countries such as Singapore, those convicted could receive a death sentence without a trial.

Such is the case of Yong Vui Kong, who was sentenced to death in 2007 for carrying 47 grams of heroin (anyone carrying over 15 grams when arrested automatically receives the death penalty). Kong, who was 19 years old at the time and illiterate, was not even considered an adult at the time of his arrest, and because he was illiterate did not know of the penalties of the crime.

Now, nearly five years later, Kong’s appeals have run out and he faces execution unless the President of Singapore grants him clemency. The President can grant clemency after a recommendation from the cabinet.

There is absolutely no reason for this young man to be executed. He deserves a second chance at life, and it is up to the cabinet to realize that before it is too late.

Currently, the Twittersphere is buzzing with support for Kong. Numerous tweets directed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singapore (Twitter handle @MFAsg) call for clemency and compassion from the cabinet and the President.

Amnesty International is asking that everyone show support for Yong Vui Kong by sending the following tweet periodically over the next 24 hours:

Mr K Shanmugam, give Yong Vui Kong a second chance to live! #deathpenalty #singapore #yongvuikong @MFAsg