Friday, September 23, 2011

Peachtree Street Project
Herndon Plaza
100 Auburn Avenue
Suite 101
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 404-525-5663 or 5668
Fax: 404-525-5233


(Atlanta, GA – September 22, 2011) In the wake of the Troy Davis execution, the Southeast Region Rainbow PUSH Coalition urges members and supporters in Georgia to work to abolish the death penalty in Georgia and across the nation. On Tuesday, Rainbow PUSH convened a Town Hall Meeting to begin plans for a grassroots abolition effort. The meeting was chaired by Janice L. Mathis, Esq. with participation from Dr. Richard Cobble, President of Concerned Black Clergy, Joe Beasley Foundation and Helen Butler, Executive Director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda,
1. Voter registration and education specifically aimed at young people on the issue of the death penalty, including Internet and text
2. Enlist support of celebrity spokespersons
3. Web and Internet presence aimed at attracting young supporters
4. Build strong ties and coordinate efforts among advocacy groups, including Amnesty International and Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
5. Unify and activate members of the clergy
6. Support state and federal legislation to outlaw the death penalty
7. Maintain regular contact with elected officials and provide a tool to voters to evaluate legislative voting records
8. Present suggestions for reform to the Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council
9. Support legislation and regulation to provide more public access to Pardons and Parole deliberations
10. Participate as NGO’s in international forums, such as the United Nations, to highlight US death penalty issues
11. Encourage the legislature to study the use of the death penalty and eyewitness testimony in Georgia and adopt a moratorium on death penalty executions and prosecutions until the study is completed. Adopt the ABA recommendations, at a minimum.
12. Educate the public about the race and class-based history of the death penalty
According to Janice L. Mathis, regional VP of Rainbow PUSH indicated, “Existing safeguards are inadequate. The only way to assure that innocent people are not executed is to abolish executions. Our system cannot achieve the moral certainty required to assure fair and accurate imposition of the death penalty. Existing legal standards of proof and evidence are insufficient and unlikely to change.”
While we build a coalition for abolition, we will support reform measures like Congressman Hank Johnson’s Effective Death Penalty Appeals Act. Johnson, along with Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia and John Conyers of Michigan urged the Georgia Pardons and Parole Board to grant clemency to Davis. In 2006, the American Bar Association assessed the death penalty in Georgia and recommended a moratorium. To view the report, including problems with the Georgia death penalty and recommendations for reform, visit

The discussions and action will continue at weekly meetings of the GCPA, CBC and monthly Rainbow PUSH Coalition meetings. To get involved, call Richard Holmes, chair of the RPC criminal justice committee at 404 525 5663, or visit

No comments: