Category Archives: news

The 2014 Abolition Conference is right around the corner!

 

This year we are holding three separate Regional Abolition Conferences in order to give everyone a better opportunity to attend!  Check out the locations listed below and sign up to attend! You can attend one or all three, it is up to you!

 

Kansas City Regional Abolition Conference | Oct. 9 | 5:30pm – 8:00pm

RAINBOW MENNONITE CHURCH | 1444 SOUTHWEST BLVD | KANSAS CITY | 66103

Come listen to Ray Krone tell his tale of lies, corruption, and deceit as the state of Arizona tried to steal his life. Krone spent more than a decade in prison, some of it on death row, before DNA testing cleared his name. He is the 100th former death row inmate freed because of innocence since the reinstatement of capital punishment in the United States in 1976. He was the twelfth death row inmate whose innocence has been proven through post-conviction DNA testing. Prior to his arrest, Krone had no previous criminal record, had been honorably discharged from the military, and had worked in the postal service for seven years.

Breakout Session #1:  Innocence Row Panel: A discussion with Ray Krone, Reggie Griffin, the 143rd person exonerated since 1973, after spending 30 years in prison, some of it on death row, in Missouri and Darryl Burton, a man who spent 24 years in a Missouri prison for a murder he did not commit.

Breakout Session #2:  Legislative and Legal Panel:  Hear from Donna Schneweis, KCADP board chair, Ron Wurtz, former Federal Death penalty defender and KCADP vice board chair. Both who share extensive knowledge regarding the death penalty in Kansas from their years of experience in the abolition movement.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Please contact Mike Fonkert, KCADP KC Area Community Coordinator at mikeatksabolitiondotorg or at 913-230-6643 to reserve your spot at the Conference or for additional information.

 

Salina Regional Abolition Conference | Oct. 21 | 3:30pm – 8:00PM

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY – SALINA | 2310 CENTENNIAL ROAD | SALINA | 67401

Join us for the Salina Regional Abolition Conference! We have two sessions and everyone is welcome to participate in one or both of the sessions!

Session One: 3:30pm-5:00pm: This session will consist of rotating workshops featuring Darryl Burton, keynote speaker; Carolyn Zimmerman, daughter of a murder victim; and other local experts on the issue of capital punishment. Check in at the Technology Center for room location.

Session Two: 6:30pm-8:00pm: This session will consist of a keynote address given by Darryl Burton, a Missouri exoneree who spent 24 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Come hear his story and learn about how you can get involved in the effort to repeal the death penalty in Kansas! Located in the College Center Conference Room.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Please contact Kristin Bollig, KCADP Community Coordinator at kristinatksabolitiondotorg or at 785-235-0214 to reserve your spot at the Conference or for additional information.

 

Western Kansas Abolition Conference 

Stay tuned…more details on this location are coming soon!

 

 

 

 

KCADP to participate in Turnaround Tuesday

 

Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for more information on Turnaround Tuesdays.  Modeled after Moral Mondays in North Carolina, people and coalitions will be gathering on the south lawn of the State House each Tuesday September 2nd though November 4th at 5:30 p.m. Each of these gatherings will be power-packed and brief, focusing on a specific issue.

 

 

KCADP invites you to participate in our Turnaround Tuesday on September 23rd, focusing on the effort to repeal the death penalty in Kansas! There will be time to mingle, get more information, and sign postcards following the 20 minute showcase.

 

 

Bring a friend and stop by the south lawn of the State House on September 23rd at 5:30 p.m.!

Save the Date for our annual Champions for Change!

Mark your calendars!

You won’t want to miss Champions for Change!

C4C Save the Date Postcard for Website Post

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

KCADP is gearing up -Stay Tuned!

 

We here at KCADP are gearing up for busy fall! Make sure you stay tuned!

 

staytuned

 

Details are coming soon about the multiple events we will be holding across the entire state this fall!

Do you want KCADP to come to your area? Just contact us here and we will help plan your local event!

 

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KCADP is getting a new look and we are just so excited about it, that we can’t help but give you a sneak peak!

This is just one little piece of our overall new look and we hope you like it as much as we do!

 

 

Now is the time for abolition! Want to join the movement? Sign up here!

 

Carr Brothers – Kansas Supreme Court Ruling

 

We, at the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP), continue to be shocked and horrified by the deeds of the Carr brothers, who were convicted in 2002 of multiple Wichita murders. Like every murder that impacts our communities, such crimes deserve severe punishment.

 

Our hearts break for the victims and their families who want to put these events behind them. Grievous wounds are reopened every time the crime gets new media attention or there is a new development related to the case.

 

KCADP’s mission is repeal of the death penalty and since Kansas has the alternative of life in prison without any possibility of parole for capital cases, we believe it is the appropriate sentence. Life without parole is a severe sentence that protects the community without the long, difficult and emotionally wrenching legal process associated with capital cases.

 

Further, many Kansans believe that life is sacred and that state-sanctioned killings are wrong for many reasons. Regardless of faith and philosophical differences, analysis of use of the death penalty shows it is not good public policy, costs more than life without parole, does not have a deterrent effect and increases the suffering of victims’ families.

Botched Execution in Arizona

 

Traditional and social media around the nation are once again afire with the news of yet another botched execution yesterday of convicted murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood.

 

We extend every sympathy to the victims and families of horrific crimes. We believe that society needs to be protected and murderers held accountable for their actions.

 

In this most recent case, Wood died after the State of Arizona, reportedly using the same drugs — the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone — that were used in the botched Ohio execution in January. Witnesses say he gasped and snorted for nearly two hours in another execution gone wrong.

 

“This case shows us again that the death penalty is fraught with risk, error and expense, and it does nothing to protect society from future crime,” said Donna Schneweis, Chair of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP). Lethal injection has proven to be an unacceptable method for states who still carry out the death penalty as shown in the grotesque executions in Ohio in January and Oklahoma in April. These botched executions call into question every citizen’s right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment.”

 

The drama and public outcry about these executions do nothing to rectify the problems or heal the emotional wounds of our society. Bungled executions and the risk of executing an innocent person undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system.

 

The solution is to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole and redirect the savings into services for victim families. The death penalty should not continue.

 

The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP), the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) and many others are calling for change. This ongoing series of shocking events serves as an even greater motivation to abolish the death penalty in Kansas and join 18 other states that have already outlawed this archaic practice.

 

The Death Penalty in Kansas…I’ve got Issues with that!

 

Did you happen to miss KTWU’s latest “I’ve Got Issues” program, when the death penalty in Kansas was discussed?

Bummed you didn’t get to see the interview with Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking?”

Disappointed that you missed our very own Mary Sloan and Ron Wurtz talk about the benefits of repealing the death penalty in Kansas?

Ron from IGI Mary from IGI

Don’t worry you can watch the entire episode right here!

 

KCADP wants to hire you!

Want to be more involved in bringing Abolition to Kansas?  

Then check out this open position, it might just be perfect for you!

 

JOB DESCRIPTION – FIELD ORGANIZER

 

Job Title:                Field Organizer

Position Type:      Full-time

Reports To:           Executive Director

Salary:                     Based on Experience

 

Position Description:

The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP) is a non-profit organization that is preparing for a legislative campaign. The field organizer will be a vital part of this campaign, responsible for traveling to and organizing within key legislative districts under the Executive Director’s supervision and oversight.  With a specific focus on Wichita and Western Kansas area supporters – including victims’ families, law enforcement officials, political conservatives, moderates and liberals  and diverse faith groups – the field organizer will carry out systematic outreach with the goal of building grassroots support for repeal and identifying key volunteers and partners.

 

Essential duties and responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate with and mobilize strategically important constituency groups
  • Identify ways to develop new leadership among members and supporters
  • Build coalitions and networks within targeted legislative districts
  • Plan and execute educational events in targeted areas of the state
  • Assist in trainings on speaking, advocacy and grassroots lobbying
  • Prepare written materials (such as fliers and brochures) to support overall grassroots campaign
  • Work closely with the Executive Director to ensure grassroots organizing efforts advance legislative goals as specified in the strategic plan
  • Speak on behalf of KCADP at meetings, events, and other venues
  • Work with staff and volunteers to ensure that the database is up to date
  • Contribute to the KCADP’s newsletter as requested
  • Send out action alerts and updates to KCADP members

Qualifications/Requirements

  • Confident public speaker
  • Commitment to ending the death penalty
  • Strong verbal, written, and interpersonal skills; familiarity with internet/social media
  • Comfortable working with and motivating volunteers in various projects
  • Ability to interface with diverse population groups
  • Attentiveness to detail and ability to work under pressure
  • Self-starter, but respectful of team goals and processes
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends
  • A valid driver’s license, auto insurance and ability to drive within the state as needed
  • Experience with community organizing; experience in event planning a plus
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel and PowerPoint; use of Publisher a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree in social service or human services discipline
  • Bondable

 

 Please email your resume and a cover letter to Mary Sloa  (maryatKSabolitiondotorg)  n at maryatKSabolitiondotorg.

 

Botched Execution in Oklahoma

 

Traditional and social media around the nation are exploding with the news of last night’s botched execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett. Lockett died after the State of Oklahoma, using a new and untested drug combination, aborted the procedure when it was clear that the execution was not proceeding as planned.

 

News reports and witnesses relate that Lockett cried out “man” and that he writhed and struggled to get off the gurney after he was supposed to be unconscious. Officials closed the blinds to the viewing gallery after Lockett struggled.

 

The event lasted at least 43 minutes. Lockett’s cause of death was reported to be a massive heart attack.

 

This was to have been a double execution, the state’s first since 1937. The execution of the other condemned man, Charles Warner, has been postponed. It is clear that Oklahoma should halt all executions and carry out an independent investigation.

 

“We know that the death penalty is fraught with risk, error and expense, and it does nothing to protect society from future crime,” said Donna Schneweis, Chair of the Kansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (KCADP). Lethal injection is not an acceptable method for states who still carry out the death penalty as shown in last night’s event and the prolonged and grotesque execution of Ohio convicted killer Dennis McGuire in January. Last night’s execution in Oklahoma, like the one in Ohio in January, undermine public confidence in our criminal justice system.

 

The solution is to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. The death penalty should not continue.

 

The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP), The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the National Coalition and many others are calling for change. This shocking event serves as an even greater motivation to abolish the death penalty in Kansas and join 18 other states that have already outlawed this archaic practice.

Thank you Mr. Goldstein!

GOLDSTEIN

 

KCADP would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You! to Tom Goldstein, an Exoneree and Kansas native. Mr. Goldstein partnered with us here in his home state to help fight against House Bill 2389, a bill that advocates speeding up the appeals process in death penalty cases.

 

Tom Goldstein was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to a term of 27 years to life for a murder he did not commit. His wrongful conviction was based upon systemic flaws in our justice system, the testimony of a drug addicted jail house informant, an eye witness who was coerced by the police, and counsel who failed to adequately investigate his case.

 

Since his release from prison in 2004 Mr. Goldstein has pursued a civil lawsuit against the City of Long Beach, the detectives assigned to his case, and the County of Los Angeles. During the discovery phase of his suit his attorneys uncovered four other cases of wrongful convictions involving the same detectives. One was the case of Oscar Lee Morris who spent 17 years on death row before being exonerated in 2000.

 

When called upon to speak Mr. Goldstein jumps at the opportunity and has spoken at various universities, as well as, with many Congress-persons, Senators and Legislators.

 

We would like to thank Mr. Goldstein for finding his way back to his home state to share is story and provide compelling testimony against House Bill 2389.

 

“I spent many long, wasted and lonely years in prison. Participating in this process gives meaning and value to these lost years.  Through my first hand experiences I can unequivocally state that our justice system is flawed. Sometimes the system gets it wrong and we need the appeals process to work in order to win our freedom. I believe that the shortcuts this bill proposes would not serve the public interest nor make our system more reliable. In fact it would make the execution of an innocent man more likely.” ~ Tom Goldstein