Last week, I shared with you my favorite quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
How can we continue to bend the arc together?
Unfortunately, on Monday, Governor DeSantis signed a death warrant for Donald David Dillbeck to be executed on February 23rd at 6:00 p.m. Like many people on Florida’s death row, Mr. Dillbeck’s childhood was marked with severe trauma and physical and sexual abuse, including extreme prenatal exposure to alcohol, leading to developmental disabilities from birth. Four members of his jury voted to spare his life. He has spent more than three decades on Florida’s death row without incident and, according to people who have gotten to know him, has been a positive influence to others.
It is disappointing that the warrant was signed on a day when we asked you to thank legislators for filing legislation that would provide compensation to a death row exoneree. FADP is mobilizing our opposition and will provide updates and action steps in the next few days.
We still plan to push forward with our legislative priority – a bill to protect people with serious mental illness from the death penalty (the SMI Bill). Florida’s 2023 legislative session begins on March 7th. We are actively meeting with legislators and partners across the state and in the State Capitol, and the response has been very positive – but we’re just getting started.
How you can help today:
- Please update your contact information so we can reach out to you when we need you to take action.
- Our digital actions in support of the SMI Bill, including our petition and sign-on letters, can be found on our SMI Campaign page.
- If there are any opportunities in your area to sponsor or co-sponsor events, please email us at [email protected]. We have a wide variety of speakers and materials available and would be more than happy to facilitate a virtual or in-person event. For example, I had the pleasure of participating in a virtual panel for the Collier County League of Women Voters’ Social Policy Committee about mental illness and the death penalty – click here to watch a recording of the event!
- Yesterday, we launched an easy action for you to thank Senator Grall and Representative Duggan for filing legislation that would provide compensation to Robert DuBoise, who spent 37 years wrongfully convicted in Florida. Send a thank you message now.
Thank you for bending the arc with us,