The Other Death Penalty Project
May 20, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE OTHER DEATH PENALTY PROJECT LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE SENTENCES
Today, the first of more than 900 Prisoner Organizing Kits are going out in the mail to prisons all over the United States, sent by The Other Death Penalty Project, a Lancaster, California based group comprised solely of prisoners serving life without the possibility of parole, the other death penalty.
The Other Death Penalty Project aims to end the sentence of life without the possibility of parole, which currently affects more than 33,000 prisoners in this country. It also plans to challenge those in the anti-death penalty movement who advocate for life without the possibility of parole as an alternative to the more obvious, traditional forms of execution. Fundamentally, The Other Death Penalty Project believes that all prisoners should have, at least, the possibility of parole.
Life without the possibility of parole is a cruel and unusual punishment. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, in a statement concerning his changing New Mexico’s form of execution from immediate and shocking to slow and hidden, described life without the possibility of parole as “worse than death.” The whole truth about this nation’s prison policies is that we have not 3,300 prisoners on death row but north of 36,000. America, with five percent of the world’s population, has virtually all of the world’s life without the possibility of parole prisoners. For instance, there are 12 prisoners in the entire rest of the world serving life without the possibility of parole for crimes committed as juveniles; there are more than 2,000 in the United States.
The indiscriminate application of a sentence worse than death has earned the United States the status of top executioner, far past China or Iran or any other repressive regime in the world, as well as the dubious distinction of chief incarcerator.
Sadly, in a Faustian bargain, the death penalty abolition movement, with few exceptions, has bought into the lie that a slow death by incarceration is a humane alternative to a quick death by lethal injection. Clearly, these groups have never taken the time to speak to prisoners serving life without the possibility of parole.
The Other Death Penalty Project will mobilize the nation’s life without the possibility of parole prisoners to tell their stories, to peacefully lobby the free world to re-think sentencing policies driven by fear. It is time to tell the whole story of the death penalty. It is time to include the plight of the 90% of those sentenced to death who don’t elicit candlelit vigils or impassioned speeches by actors outside the prison gates; the 90% who don’t attract crusading attorneys or get automatic appeals before the highest courts.
Along with the first mass mailing, The Other Death Penalty Project announces the full activation of www.theotherdeathpenalty.org, an interactive website where interested parties can access resource materials, download a moving PowerPoint presentation, and create their own Prisoner Organizing Kit.
Media inquiries should be directed to TODP@live.com.
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The Other Death Penalty