I am disheartened to share the news that today – on the first day of Catholic Holy Week and in advance of Passover – Governor DeSantis signed another death warrant, this time for Darryl Barwick.
Darryl was sent to death row at the age of 19. Darryl endured a childhood filled with unimaginable horrors. His father wanted him to be aborted, and so his mother threw herself down the stairs and abused drugs to try to make that happen. As the youngest and most mentally vulnerable of seven siblings, he was singled out for the brunt of the violence – his father beat him with rebar and wood on the construction job Darryl was forced to have as a child. He also witnessed his father raping his mother on repeated occasions. He was diagnosed with brain damage, and intellectual disabilities. Without intervention or treatment, it is no surprise that for Darryl, the cycle of violence sadly persisted.
His execution is scheduled for Wednesday, May 3, at 6 pm, and we will have actions on our website soon.
Unfortunately, my fear that things in Florida were going to get worse before they get better is proving to be true. But do you know what is equally true? No social justice fight in our history has ever succeeded without casualties. I know that Florida is experiencing some of our darkest days – but we must continue to fight to be the light.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- First, continue to oppose the upcoming scheduled execution of Louis Gaskin. Louis Gaskin, a seriously mentally ill Black man, sentenced to death by an 8-4 all-white jury, is scheduled for execution on April 12 at 6 pm ET at Florida State Prison (FSP), less than ten days away.
- Attend or host a vigil in your community. I will be joined by allies from across the state at FSP beginning at 5 pm. For our current list of vigils and protests for Louis Gaskin, please visit our website. If you are interested in attending or hosting an event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Take and share all of the actions to oppose the expansion of Florida’s death penalty. While the bill to eliminate the unanimous jury requirement has passed in the Senate, it has not yet gone to a full vote in the House. This is our last chance to tell the full Florida House to vote NO. For our Florida residents, once you have contacted the entire House, please contact your individual Representative and as their constituent, urge them to vote NO.
- Stay connected and engaged with the movement. I know that it is easy to get overwhelmed. It is tiring, grueling work. As you need to, take a break from the news cycle and the tragic stories. Take care of yourselves, and each other. And then come back and fight with me. We can not and we will not become desensitized to the repeated state-sanctioned murder that is being committed in our names.
I want to close with the words of Frederick Douglass:
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. . . The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.”
All eyes are on our death penalty. We are deep in the struggle. And this is our opportunity to demand the end of the death penalty in Florida. Together.
FADP Executive Director
PS: The important work we are doing to stop the expansion of Florida’s death penalty and oppose executions takes resources. Every contribution makes a difference. We need you to donate today.