Thank you Community of Sant’Egidio and Cities for Life, Cities Against the Death Penalty campaign for making this possible. To find out more about the Community of Sant’Egidio “No Death Penalty” campaign, please go to: http://nodeathpenalty.santegidio.org
The following is from the Media Advisory:
FADP in Rome for “Cities For Life, Cities Against the Death Penalty” Annual Lighting of the Colosseum
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, FADP has been invited to participate in the World Day of Cities for Life, Cities Against the Death Penalty’s annual lighting of the Colosseum of Rome. Mark Elliott, FADP Executive Director, will present Florida death penalty abolition efforts and speak to Italian university and civic groups in the days surrounding the conference.
The Community of Sant’Egidio organizes “Cities for Life, Cities Against the Death Penalty” actions that take place each year on November 30. More than 1,908 cities around the world have declared themselves “Cities for Life” and are committed to the abolition of the death penalty.
It is the largest worldwide mobilization effort to renounce the death penalty. Many cities illuminate principal monuments to demonstrate their solidarity. This year‘s action supports the new United Nations resolution for a worldwide moratorium on executions. 114 of the UN’s 193 member states voted in favor of the resolution on November 21. It will go before the General Assembly Plenary for the final adoption in December.
On the decline in most parts of the Western world, the death penalty has seen increased use in Florida. According to Amnesty International, the United States consistently ranks in the Top 5 nations for most executions, along with China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
“Florida has killed 89 men and women since re-starting executions, while 25 people on our state’s Death Row have been exonerated,” said Mark Elliott, Executive Director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP). “This means we have had nearly one exoneration for every three people put to death.”
“We call for a halt on executions in our state,” said Elliott. “No one knows how many more innocent people remain on Death Row or, God forbid, have already been executed.”
“You can free and innocent man from prison, but you can never, never, free an innocent man from the grave,” said Juan Melendez, who spent more than 17 years on Florida’s Death Row before being exonerated and released.
“Florida’s system of state executions is like a rickety old public bus that costs millions of dollars to operate,” said Elliott. “The brakes are shot and the steering is out and it’s constantly crashing into innocent people. The answer shouldn’t be to pack in more passengers, hit the gas and go faster.”
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