Those who have lost a loved one to murder are invited to this special “Meet & Greet” event and light dinner: 

Monday, December 8th 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Omaha Teachers Administrative Building (TAC), 5th floor

3215 Cuming St, Omaha, NE 68131

Read more here!

 

Vicki holding a photo of their daughter, Shannon.

Vicki holding a photo of their daughter, Shannon.

We are honored to host Vicki and Sylvester Schieber on a speaking tour through Nebraska this December 7-10th.  Their beautiful daughter, Shannon, was raped and killed in 1998 while finishing her first year of graduate school on a full scholarship at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Following their tragedy, they became outspoken advocates for justice reform and an end to the death penalty. Vicki is active with the national group Catholic Mobilizing Network, and the Schiebers were leaders in the successful 2013 campaign to end their home state of Maryland’s death penalty. Following that victory, they helped pass improved services for Maryland homicide victims’ families.

Click here to read about their trip to Nebraska and scheduled events!

 

In July 2012, Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NADP) launched Nebraska Conservatives Concerned About The Death Penalty (NE-CCATDP) at the statewide GOP convention in Grand Island.

NADP seeks a statewide coordinator to engage Conservatives in Nebraska in the ongoing discussion about the death penalty and common conservative concerns about the system. He or she will organize conservatives in Nebraska who are concerned with the death penalty, and network with conservative, libertarian, and evangelical circles to identify and mobilize new allies.

NADP has secured funding for this position for one year. Continuation of the position after one year will be dependent upon future funding. The position can be based anywhere in Nebraska and will involve travel. Applicants based in Lincoln can work out of our Lincoln office. Applicants in other cities will work from home.

Click here for full job description & info on applying. 

 

By: Stacy Anderson

Stacy NormaOn Thursday October 16th the NADP family lost a stalwart abolitionist and we wanted to take a moment to remember and honor Norma’s many contributions to the repeal movement in Nebraska.

So many have a great, entertaining story about when they first met Norma. I first met her when I had just joined the board of NADP and was going on my first visit to death row. Norma rode with me that evening and could tell I was sort of nervous about my first visit, so she set my mind at ease by telling me stories from her many years of visiting the inmates. She also told me stories about how she got involved in the repeal movement during her time in Tennessee.

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We’ve previously mentioned NADP’s program Death Penalty Faithful Reflections – where we provide a congregation with educational materials about the death penalty, a volunteer to answer their questions and encourage them to write to their State Senators, and we might even host a speaker at their service. If you’d like us to have a Faithful Reflection at your home church, synagogue, or mosque, let us know and we’ll work with you to make it happen!

But there’s an even easier option!  Let’s call it Faithful Reflections “Lite” and you can do it all on your own. It’s simple – while you’re at church (or school, or book club, or a Kiwanis meeting) ask your friends or family who support death penalty repeal to sign our NADP postcards that we share with our elected officials.  If 100 people asked 5 friends to fill out postcards that’s an additional 500 notes of encouragement for our Senators to take up and pass repeal in 2015!

Send me an email at sarah@nadp.net and I’ll be sure you get some postcards and a return envelope to send them back to us.  It’s really that easy! Please help us with this project – together we can be so powerful. 

On October 8th, Manuel Velez, who once faced execution by the State of Texas, was released from prison in Huntsville. After 9 years, he will be reunited with his family. His freedom is a tremendous outcome in a case that has endured numerous legal twists and turns over the years. Last year, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction of Velez, who was sentenced to death in Cameron County in 2008 for the death of one-year-old Angel Gabriel Moreno. The baby was the child of Mr. Velez’s then-girlfriend, who served five years of a ten-year sentence for her role in the baby’s tragic death. The court agreed with a state district judges assessment that Mr. Velez’s defense attorneys failed to present critical medical evidence of injuries the baby sustained in the weeks and months before his death – injuries that Mr. Velez could not have caused as he was working on a construction site in Tennessee at the time.

The case of Manuel Velez is yet another example of the many things that can go wrong with the death penalty, including incompetent legal counsel, an unreliable and unrecorded police statement, prosecutorial misconduct, shoddy science, and false testimony. It’s time to wake up to the realities of the failed death penalty system.

Vicki-Pic

Vicki holding a photo of her daughter, Shannon

We are honored to host Vicki and Sylvester Schieber on a speaking tour through Nebraska this December 7-10th.  Their beautiful daughter, Shannon, was raped and killed in 1998 while finishing her first year of graduate school on a full scholarship at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Following their tragedy, they became outspoken advocates for justice reform and an end to the death penalty. Vicki is active with the national group Catholic Mobilizing Network, and the Schiebers were leaders in the successful 2013 campaign to end their home state of Maryland’s death penalty. Following that victory, they helped pass improved services for Maryland homicide victims’ families.

The Schiebers are driven by their personal experience and a strong Catholic faith that says the death penalty is a violation of their pro-life beliefs. Additionally, Syl holds a PhD in economics and argues persuasively that the death penalty is a fiscal failure. They will be speaking with religious and civic groups throughout the state, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear these nationally recognized speakers. Stay tuned for finalized event details.

If you’d like to host the Schiebers or another NADP speaker with your community of faith group, be in touch, we’re always looking for outreach opportunities.  Contact Sarah at sarah@nadp.net.

I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club

On September 21st, 2011, the state of Georgia executed Troy Anthony Davis.

Troy Davis was executed in spite of the significant doubt about his guilt– there was no physical evidence linking him to the case and seven of the nine primary witnesses eventually recanted or changed their testimony. His death served as a painful reminder to all of us that our death penalty system is broken beyond repair.

To learn more about Troy Davis’ case and the flaws in the death penalty system it exposed, check out I Am Troy Davis, a book co-authored by Jen Marlowe and Davis’ sister Martina Davis-Correia.

This fall, in memory of Troy’s execution, groups around the country will be participating in the I Am Troy Davis Community book clubLet us know if you want to host a book club discussion in your area and NADP will help to spread the word. In addition to the compelling book, there is also a discussion and study guide produced by Equal Justice USA to help facilitate your conversation.

By: Ahmad Arraseef, Communications Intern

Henry McCollum and Leon Brown are now numbers 145 and 146 on the list of innocent people exonerated from death row since 1973, based on DNA evidence. After a wrong conviction and 30 years in prison, Henry McCollum and his half – brother Leon Brown, were exonerated and set free on Tuesday, September 2nd.  McCollum and Brown’s story is one that shows the many flaws of the death penalty system. McCollum and Brown’s story begins in September 1983 when Sabrina Buie was murdered. McCollum and Brown, ages 19 and 15 at the time, were arrested for the murder. McCollum and Brown were both subjugated to intense interrogation by prosecutors, who intimidated and threatened them, despite the fact that both brothers are developmentally disabled.

They were both initially sentenced to death, but retrials in 1991 and 1992 saw McCollum convicted of murder and sentenced to death again, and Brown convicted of rape and his sentence reduced to life-in-prison. The breakthrough in the case came in 2009 when DNA analysis from a cigarette butt, found on the crime scene, linked another inmate to the murder. McCollum and Brown’s convictions were overturned by Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser, who concluded that the results of the DNA analysis of the cigarette butt found near Sabrina’s body contradicted the case put forth by prosecutors. While celebrating McCollum and Brwon’s exoneration is important, it’s dually important to keep working toward an end of a death penalty system fraught with error.

As NADP presses forward to replacement of the death penalty in our state, we want to highlight the voices of those with personal experience with our justice system. Individuals who have lost loved ones to murder, or worked professionally with the justice system (such as prosecutors, corrections’ officials, police officers, parole officers, prison chaplains) have a unique perspective we want to learn from. If you know of someone in law enforcement or who is a murder victim family member, please reach out to NADP by emailing us at colleen@nadp.net We would love the opportunity to simply speak with these people and learn more about their story.  It’s ok if they are ambivalent, or even pro-death penalty, we just want to connect with those across the state who may have a unique perspective on the death penalty.