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MAY 2022

Tuesday is GiveNOLA Day - givenola.org/madp
Dear friends:

Tuesday, May 3 is GiveNOLA Day, one of only two times in the year that I come to you to ask for direct support for our work to end the death penalty. Our little organization - just six of us! - does mighty work because your donations keep us fueled and energized.

If you'd like to show your support, click the graphic above or the one below to donate, or go to the GiveNOLA home page and type MADP in the Find Your Cause box. Donations are open right now, so you can donate any time today and throughout the day on Tuesday, May 3.

If you prefer to make a donation via check, please make it out to 'Ministry Against the Death Penalty' (it must be spelled out or our bank gets confused), and mail it to:
MADP
3009 Grand Rte. St. John, #6
New Orleans, LA 70119

Do you follow me on social media?
Although giving talks is a central mainstay of my work and something that continually fires me up, we use social media to do a lot of the heavy lifting. We use Twitter  (@helenprejean) to organize and coordinate campaigns to stop executions and to explain important court rulings; we use Facebook to build a community of people seeking an end to the death penalty; and we use Instagram (@helenprejean) to connect with more young people. With around 76,000 followers on Facebook and 173,000 on Twitter, we get up to a lot of "good trouble", so if that's the kind of trouble you like, please join me there.

(My social media team is also trying to prepare me for TikTok. They say I'll be perfect on TikTok because there's no need for polished or even in-focus videos. Just "be your natural self" they say. I'm not sure whether this is a compliment, but I'm going to give TikTok a try soon.)

Our structure changes, our mission doesn't
Since the Ministry Against the Death Penalty came into being early this century, we have been under the wing of the Sisters of St. Joseph, originally with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille and then with the national Congregation of St. Joseph. This year, we have transformed into a standalone non-profit. While our organizational structure has changed, the work we do has not, nor has the way your donations reach us and help us to do our work.

I shall always be grateful for the support the Sisters have shown us through many years. It was sister power that launched our little organization into action. Ever since we have been making waves. In addition to our core work of educating the public about the death penalty and our country's flawed criminal justice system, we work daily alongside other justice-seeking groups to prevent executions. Sometimes our efforts fail, sometimes we have success (Melissa Lucio got a precious stay!), but nothing sways us from our determined course to end the death penalty once and for all.

With heartfelt thanks,

Donate today at https://givenola.org/madp

Like many thousands of others, we heaved a sigh of relief when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted Melissa Lucio a stay so the court can consider whether she should get a new trial. The courts have a long history of misunderstanding the abuse that women suffer, which, for Melissa, counted against her in the police interrogation that resulted in her "confession".

Also in Texas, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the DNA appeal of Rodney Reed. Rodney tried to get DNA testing through the federal courts, but they called his application "untimely" and threw it out. It's a shameful aspect of our "justice" system that someone who may be innocent can have a claim denied because the clock ran out. It's good news that Rodney's lawyers now have a chance to argue his case before the Supreme Court.

Download 'Sister'

Sister, a film by Joe Cardona and José L. Vázquez, documents the influences that shaped Sister Helen Prejean's path from a cloistered environment to a vocal advocate for justice.

The film shows the winding path Sister Helen followed from a privileged white upbringing in the Jim Crow South to the execution chamber in Angola, Louisiana's State prison, and from the witnessing of Patrick Sonnier's execution to her ongoing ministry to end the death penalty today.

Get together with your class or parish, friends or neighbors, or your whole community and watch Sister together. Available for download now.

Upcoming Executions


Here, courtesy of the Death Penalty Information Center, is a list of executions slated for the coming months.

May
3 MO Carman Deck
10 TN Michael Rimmer - stayed
11 AZ Clarence Dixon
13 SC Brad Sigmon - stayed
17 GA Virgil Presnell, Jr.  
18 OH James Hanna - reprieved

June
9 TN Harold Nichols
22 OH Percy Hutton - reprieved

July
13 TX Ramiro Gonzales
20 OH Douglas Coley - reprieved
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We’d love to hear from you.

Let us know what you’d like to see in future editions of Death Penalty Discourse, what tools and resources you’re using in your community, and how Dead Man Walking has impacted your life. Contact us by email and like us on Facebook for updates and current news.

     

Copyright © 2022 Ministry Against the Death Penalty, All rights reserved.


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