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Another exoneration as NY Senators prepare to vote for death penalty

New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty


We only have a few weeks left to really press our legislators not to vote on their pro-death penalty bill. All Long Island Senators need to hear it from us. Let’s press hard now! What can you do?

  1. Write a letter or call your rep (yes, again and again until he gets it!)f(see below),
  2. Host a letter writing party (we’ll provide the letters, stamps, and organization)
  3. Have a film screening of “At the Death House Door” with your group, or
  4. Host a speaker.

Contact Colleen at Colleen.Eren@yahoo.com.

To identify your State Senator go to http://www.capwiz.com/lwvny/state/main/?state=NY, scroll down to My Elected Officials. If you are having trouble, contact Colleen and she’ll help you identify your rep.


ACTION OPPORTUNITY: This is an excellent opportunity for letters to the editor of your local newspaper, noting some of the points below. Please also watch for newspaper coverage in your local paper and when you see it, even if it is a one paragraph blurb in the national roundup, clip it and mail it (or a copy) to your state legislators with a brief hand written note calling their attention to the problem of wrongful convictions and stating your personal objections to the death penalty.

Just as executions are set to resume in the U.S. , Levon “Bo” Jones becomes the 129th person to be freed from death row since 1976, after evidence of innocence emerged. He’s the eighth wrongly convicted death row inmate out of North Carolina alone. Nationally, there have been five death row exonerations
since late September. Jones is the second consecutive North Carolina man to be freed from death row after evidence of police misconduct was brought to light.

Levon “Bo” Jones, an African American man who has always maintained his innocence, was sentenced to death in 1993 for the murder of Leamon Grady, a white man.

A federal judge ordered Jones off death row in 2006 and overturned his conviction, declaring that the defense provided by Jones’ initial defense attorneys was so poor that they missed critical evidence pointing to his innocence. After keeping him imprisoned in anticipation of a retrial, the Duplin County, N.C. District Attorney announced Thursday that the state was dropping all charges and Jones would be released.

The sole witness accusing Jones of the murder, Lovely Lorden, admitted in an affidavit filed last month that she “was certain that Bo did not have anything to do with Mr. Grady’s murder” and that she did not know what happened the night Grady was murdered. A new trial had been set to begin May 12.

Jones’ exoneration and release comes two weeks after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Baze v. Rees upholding the three drug lethal injection method of capital punishment used in Kentucky . It comes as the NY state Senate prepares to vote to reinstate the death penalty.

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