FADP Officers and Board of Directors: Front Row (L-R) Sheila Meehan (Treasurer), Nancy O’Byrne (Chair), Ingrid Delgado, Christine Henderson, Dr. Joyce Hamilton Henry PhD, Sheila Hopkins, Mary Anne Hoffman (Secretary).
FADP Communications Strategist– Emily Chow (not pictured)
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and non-partisan Florida organization of individuals and groups united to abolish the Death Penalty in Florida. FADP works to build a strong, diverse, statewide, grassroots movement which:
- Opposes executions
- Reduces the application of the Death Penalty until it is ultimately abolished
- Protects the humanity of all persons impacted by the Death Penalty
- Educates Floridians about the Death Penalty
- Provides concrete action steps for individuals and groups
Mark Elliott, FADP Executive Director, is a native Floridian from Tampa. In 2004, he left a career in medical technology systems and began work to abolish the death penalty as the State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator for AIUSA. His first assignment was working to help pass legislation to end the juvenile death penalty. In 2006, he became Executive Director of FADP – Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Since then, FADP has become the statewide organization that represents the many various and diverse stakeholders in Florida’s struggle to abolish the Death Penalty.
Nancy O’Byrne, FADP Board Chair, Nancy retired in 2004 from her position as Director of Leasing for Capital Partners, Inc., which was the Commercial Real Estate company that owned the Modis Building (now Wells Fargo Building) in downtown Jacksonville, along with 13 other office buildings in the area.
She decided to take a more meaningful path in her life by devoting much of her time to advocacy for peace and justice issues in her church and in her community. She was the Chairwoman of the Catholic Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission for 13 years (2000 – 2013) and awarded the Thomas A. Horkan, Jr. Distinguished Catholic Leader Award by the Florida Bishops at Catholic Days at the Capitol gathering in Tallahassee in February, 2012. She coordinated execution vigils around the diocese during her time on the Commission.
Nancy is on the Board of Home Again St. Johns, an organization whose mission is to build a one-stop center for homeless to access the many different social service providers in St. Augustine under one roof; along with a dining area and apartments that accommodate up to 100 men, women and families who are low-income or homeless and are seeking help to get back on their feet.
She is Coordinator of the Compassion in Action initiative of Compassionate St. Augustine, which provides educational and advocacy programs for prison and criminal justice reform. She is an AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) certified facilitator and does workshops for the boys at the St. Johns Youth Academy, the juvenile detention facility in St. Augustine.
She and her husband David are members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in St. Augustine and do home visits to clients in need of financial assistance. They have been married for 23 years. She has 3 grown children and 6 beautiful grandsons.
Mary Anne Hoffman, FADP Board Secretary, has worked on death penalty issues since 1982. Her work and volunteer life have centered on affordable housing, homelessness, adult literacy and public benefits issues in both state government and non-profit organizations. In 2014 she retired from the State of Florida Office on Homelessness where she was a program coordinator. Mary Anne is the current chairperson of Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty. She also serves on the boards of Kindred Spirits Charitable Trust and Graceful Solutions for Housing, Inc.
Sheila Meehan, FADP Treasurer, is currently assistant director of the Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection (flacp.org). Sheila has worked as a corporate researcher at the national headquarters of the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. and as a labor organizer for the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild where she organized reporters at the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun.
After returning to Florida she was the Administrator of the Community Services Team, the national pro bono department of Holland & Knight LLP. She assisted in representation of two prisoners on Florida’s death row and quickly realized that the death penalty justice system was broken. As the Assistant Director and founding staff member of the Innocence Project of Florida she soon saw a record number of people exonerated and released from Florida’s death row. These experiences brought her to activism on this important issue and as a volunteer she is now Chair of Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty (tcadp.net) and Treasurer of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
FADP Board Members:
Ingrid Delgado serves as Associate for Social Concerns & Respect Life at the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops where she represents the Catholic Bishops of Florida on issues of human life, dignity and social justice before the legislative and executive branches of government and community organizations. She works with Florida’s diocesan respect life directors through the State Pro-Life Coordinating Committee and staffs the Conference’s Prison Ministry Committee.
Previously, Delgado worked as a Program Coordinator/Training and Curriculum Development Specialist for ThinkSmart, a youth outreach program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida and later as a Match Grant Specialist and Case Manager for the organization’s Refugee Resettlement program. She has also served as a language arts teacher at an alternative high school in Central Florida and lived as a missionary in San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic, helping to provide for the nutritional, medical, and educational needs of the residents in the poorest region of the Dominican Republic.
Rev. Dr. Glenn Dickson graduated from McCormick Seminary in 1977 with his Doctorate of Ministry. He served as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Gainesville for 36 years and retired in 2009. Mr. Dickson has served as pastor to death row inmates from 1991 to present. He is Co-coordinator for Gainesville Citizens for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
Dr. Laura Finley is Associate Professor of Sociology & Criminology at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. She is the author, co-author, or editor of 18 books, numerous journal articles and book chapters, as well as a syndicated columnist with PeaceVoice. In addition, Dr. Finley is a member of many human rights, social justice and peace organizations and is co-founder of the South Florida Consortium for Restorative Justice.
Dr. Joyce Hamilton Henry is Regional Development Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and is based in Tampa. Dr. Hamilton Henry received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and a doctorate in Social Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hartford in African American Studies and in the Departments of Sociology and Psychology.
She is known for her contributions in the field of social work and is published on the experience of Caribbean immigrants. She has expertise in a range of issues including race and ethnic relations, immigrant rights, voting rights, felon disenfranchisement and civic engagement. She is the author of No One Asked Us: The Under-representation of African Americans and Latinos on Local Boards and Commissions.
Christine Henderson has an extensive history of working with communities and youth to improve the juvenile justice system at all levels. She has worked throughout Florida, in Jackson, MS and a variety of other communities in the South East to further advocacy and litigation efforts with Southern Poverty Law Center. She was often called upon to build coalitions, mobilize citizens, provide community action plans and train advocates to lobby for themselves and their communities. Christine was instrumental in helping build the case against an abusive juvenile justice facility, which was ultimately closed and she worked tirelessly to maintain pressure on decision makers to maintain certain standards of Juvenile care during a proposed legislative overhaul of the Juvenile Justice system.
Christine is currently, the Florida National Organizer for Equal Justice USA where earlier this year the Supreme Court has found the Death Penalty unconstitutional. Prior to this decision, Florida was the only state in the country where a person could be sentenced to death by a judge after a non-binding recommendation of a simple majority of jurors and without any record of what facts led to the jury’s recommendation. Christine focuses a lot of her organizing in Jacksonville, Florida as it is in the top 3 of the worst counties nationally in usage of death penalty.
Natishia Y. June, is currently the Organizing Manager for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, and a Jacksonville native. Natishia is a proud graduate of Florida Agriculture & Mechanical University (FAMU) with a degree in Criminal Justice and is a small business owner.
She is very passionate about social justice especially in the protection of women’s rights/ liberation, criminal justice & voting rights. Natishia is one of the founding members of the Justice 4 Jacksonville Coalition, a coalition to reduce death sentences in the 4th Judicial Circuit. Natishia has spoken across the country and the state of Florida on issues regarding death penalty, voting rights, rights restoration, immigration, LGBT and racial justice issues. Currently, Natishia serves in other civic organizations such as the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE), where she is on the Restorative Justice & Crime Committees, on the Business Advisory Council with the City Rescue Mission, and as Chairwoman of the Jacksonville Juvenile Justice Coalition & JCE Faith Committee. She has also served as a member of the Women’s Academic & Cultural Society working with young people, the National Council of Negro Women, and National Black HIV/AIDS Network.
Natishia previously worked as Project Manager for a faith-based youth program FISH Kids, Inc. and as a Health Educator for Shisa Inc. conducting HIV/AIDS testing, education and outreach to high-risk populations.
Sonya Rudenstine, J.D. has been a sole practitioner in Gainesville, FL, since 2006. Her practice is devoted primarily to civil and criminal appeals, including the representation of death row inmates in state and federal postconviction proceedings, and of juvenile defendants facing life sentences. After graduating from New York University School of Law, Ms. Rudenstine served as the Death Penalty Clerk for the New Jersey Supreme Court and then moved to Montgomery, AL, where she worked for several years as a Staff Attorney for the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization devoted to policy work and national impact litigation on behalf of criminal defendants, inmates, parolees, and the otherwise disenfranchised.
Ms. Rudenstine serves as Co-Chair of the Amicus Committee for the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has drafted or co-drafted amicus briefs in Florida and federal courts in support of numerous criminal defendants whose cases involve claims of systemic import. She recently appeared as co-counsel in the United States Supreme Court in Hurst v. Florida, appearing on behalf of several former Florida trial judges who filed an amicus brief in support of death row inmate Timothy Hurst. Ms. Rudenstine is an FADP Founding Board Member and served as Chair of the Board for the 2013-14 term.
Adam Tebrugge is a Board Certified Criminal Trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience. He was a capital trial attorney from 1990 – 2007 in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Adam was a longtime lecturer at the “Life Over Death” training seminars for lawyers handling death penalty cases in Florida. He has also worked as an adjunct professor at the Stetson College of Law and the Thomas Cooley Law School, where he teaches “Death Penalty Seminar.”
Dr. Joseph Thornton is a staff psychiatrist with the North Florida South Georgia Veterans Health System. From 2003 to 2010 Dr. Thornton served as the Medical Executive Director for the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center (NFETC). NFETC is a 200 bed maximum security forensic mental health treatment facility in Gainesville, Florida.
Dr. Thornton served on a National Health Service Corps assignment to Union Correctional Institution at Raiford, Florida from 1992 to 1996. In his role as the Medical Executive Director from 1994 to 1996 his duties included weekly walking rounds to see each of 300 inmates housed on death row. Ten years later as a psychiatrist for the NFETC he was called as an expert witness on competency to appeal death penalty sentences. As a physician, a psychiatrist who had worked on Florida death row, and as a physician among physicians who participate in executions, he has a specific responsibility to speak out against the death penalty and to put an end to medical killing.
Emily Chow joined FADP as the Communications Strategist in August 2016. Prior to FADP Emily worked for the ACLU of Florida as their Online Advocacy Coordinator communicating the affiliate’s advocacy, policy, and legal efforts to ACLU-FL supporters through their digital platforms, including designing multimedia content, creating action alerts, and implementing engagement strategies on social media in both English and Spanish. Before moving to Florida, Emily was the Senior Program Associate at the Latin America Working Group (LAWG), in Washington, DC where she worked with a coalition of grassroots, faith leaders, businesses and policy groups to advocate for the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba. Emily has a BA in International Relations with a minor in Spanish and Latin American studies from American University. While she has moved extensively up and down the east coast, and currently resides in Washington, DC, she still calls Albany, NY home.