Monday, October 22, 2012

Invitation to Our Vigil Outside of SCI Rockview 11/8/12

The state of Pennsylvania is back in the killing business. The first execution in 50 years of a non-volunteer is scheduled for November 8, 2012 at 7 PM. Please stand with us outside the death house on the evening of Michael Hubert's execution. The vigil will take place regardless of weather. Be sure to bring layers of clothing and, if rain is predicted, umbrellas. 

If you can, bring several candles as symbols of shining a light of hope for ending the death penalty in Pennsylvania and throughout the world. You may also want to bring a folding chair and some snacks to share. There is no parking on the road outside the prison so we will be relying on shuttle service by the generous Penn State students using their personal vehicles. Please park in the mall and look for a group of vehicles which will be clearly marked with signs calling for abolition of the death penalty. More details and a map of the exact location in the parking lot will be posted here at least one week before the execution.

Please spread the word far and wide about this vigil and encourage everyone to join us. Pennsylvania must be shown that we do not want the state to kill in our names. Invited speakers will include leaders of Amnesty International, Pennsylvania Prison Society, murder victims' family members, faith leaders, and representatives from other organizations. If your organization is interested in this speaking opportunity, please let me know so that we can work out the details/logistics.

Yours in Solidarity and Hope,


Monday, October 15, 2012

World Day Against the Death Penalty Vigil in Love Park

Aja Beech, board member and the heart and head of our Philly PADP chapter organized this vigil at Love Park. October 10th is the annual World Day Against the Death Penalty. Vigils, rallies, educational events and more are held throughout the world to remind us why we must abolish capital punishment.

I hope that next year we will have events throughout Pennsylvania, organized by abolitionists like you. Enjoy the pictures, taken by our friend, Maureen Roche. Maureen, thank you for your generosity!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Road Trip Ended Mid-Way


I was driving to SCI Rockview, just outside of State College, PA to attend a vigil for Terrance Williams who was scheduled for execution at 7PM. I've never been happier to have to turn around and return home so far into a road trip. When I answered my cell phone I was holding my breath and just said, "And?" I heard that the PA Supreme Court had upheld that stay of execution and that I could turn around and go home. I pulled over and just shook for a few minutes.

Now that I'm back home, and even before I start reading the news, I am writing to say thank you all for everything that you have been doing for Terry. I only know a tiny fraction of what you've been doing, but, I'm sure Terry appreciates every bit that you have done.

There will be more work ahead soon, both for Terry and for the two other men PA is trying to execute this year. For now, please take a few minutes to ponder how much difference we can make when we all work together on a task that seemed so unachievable.

Thank you all.


My sound track for this moment

Traditional Music for this moment

Monday, October 1, 2012

Actions for Terrance Williams

Please review your options for taking actions in support of Terry Williams.

Rally Tuesday, 10/2/12 at the DA's office

Vigil at Rockview (the death house)  near State College Wednesday 10/3/12 and a 

Phone and twitter action tomorrow and Wednesday -- phone # & sample messages below

Remember that our goal here is to save Terry's life and all messages should focus on why Terry should be granted clemency, NOT on the death penalty in general. General anti-death penalty messages will hurt, not help, right now.   

Rally at Philadelphia DA’s office Tuesday, 10/2/12

12:30 PM  Gather in the downstairs of the Arch Street Methodist Church, 55 North Broad St., Philadelphia
for case update, introductions and instructions. 
If you are able to come earlier to help, we'll be there at 11:15 AM  making signs, etc.

1:15 PM Depart for the DA’s office -  (Juniper @ South Penn Square, by City Hall)  at approximately 1:15 PM. Speakers and chanting

Some people will be assembling outside of DA’s office at 11:30 AM, too. If you have a choice, I'd recommend coming to the church at 12:30 PM so we can march as a group. It's also dry inside the church.

Vigil at Rockview   Wednesday, 10/3/12

Gather at 5 PM and remain until approximately 8 PM. More info on exact location will be posted soon.

To volunteer extra time, ask questions, raise concerns, provide feedback:                  

Kathleen Lucas  717-781-4566
Julie Southwell, Field Organizer, Amnesty International USA  917-348-8439
Please leave one or both of us a message if we don’t answer.

Phone Action: Tuesday, 10/2/12 

Call  215-686-8000. You’ll get a voicemail menu. Select option 3 and leave your message.

Sample phone messages:

We in Pennsylvania should be especially sensitive to victims of childhood sexual abuse. How can your office punish Terry Williams for not speaking out sooner? He should spend his life in prison, not be executed.
DA Seth Williams has done so much to protect the rights of victims of all kinds of abuse.  I am shocked that he is pursuing the death sentence against Terrance Williams rather than pushing for a new fair sentencing trial phase.

The rape of a child is NOT the same as “taking advantage of him.” The DA should be ashamed of himself  for mischaracterizing it in that way. Don't deny that rape is rape. Terry Williams should not be executed. As a citizen, don't kill him in my name.

As a citizen, I'm asking that the DA stop the execution of Terrance Williams. Rape is rape!

Rape is rape and the DA knows it. Terrance Williams should not be executed.
Terrance Williams deserves clemency, not execution.
District Attorney Seth Williams, Shame on you! Rape is rape. Childhood rape victim Terrance Williams deserves clemency, not execution.
After prosecuting child rapists in Philadelphia, the District Attorney should know the trauma it causes the victims. Don't execute Terrance Williams.

Tweets for tomorrow
You’ll notice that the same tweets are directed to @Seth4DA and @   . The first one is the handle from his campaign and is still used widely. The second one goes to the DA’s office. Please use both version. Using the @sign at the beginning of a tweet means that it will show up in his inbox as a personal message as well as show up on twitter where others can see it. The link in the tweet is to the petition for clemency. We still want people to sign it because it goes to the Gov, the DA and the Board of Pardons.

@Seth4DA No "ghoulish glee?" Then grant #clemency to  #TerranceWilliams. Stop the #execution.

@Seth4DA Rape is rape and you know it. #Terrance Williams should not be executed. #clemency

@Seth4DA  #Terrance Williams deserves #clemency not #execution.

@Seth4DA You prosecuted child rapists & know the trauma it causes victims. Don't execute #TerranceWilliams

These will go to the DA’s office twitter account

@Philly_DAsOfc #TerranceWilliams deserves #clemency not #execution

@Philly_DAsOfc No "ghoulish glee?" Then grant #clemency to  #TerranceWilliams. Stop the #execution.

@Philly_DAsOfc Rape is rape and you know it. #Terrance Williams should not be executed.

@Philly_DAsOfc You prosecuted child rapists & know trauma of the victims. Don't execute #TerranceWilliams


Put venom aside in Williams case

This letter from our friend, Phyllis Pautrat, appeared in today's Philadelphia Inquirer

I'm not sure why District Attorney Seth Williams seems so angry about the Terrance Williams case ("Making the case for Williams' execution," Sunday). His office has processed many cases involving adults sexually abusing children, children who took years to come to terms in any healthy way with being subjected to rape by an adult.

Terrance Williams was barely 18 years old when he committed his crimes. Some never are able to come to terms with abuse in any healthy way, and perhaps Williams is in that category. Credible experts have agreed that this abuse happened, and it happened while Williams was a child, the last time just months past the age that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled is acceptable for people to be executed.

The district attorney ought put his venomous words and thoughts aside, respect the possibility that Terrance Williams was brutalized as a child, and thus recommend that he be kept in prison but not executed.

Phyllis Pautrat, Mount Laurel,