Spotlight on FADP Board Member, Mary Anne Hoffman.
As I look back at my life I can’t remember ever accepting the death penalty. I grew up in Indiana, a state that to this day, still has the death penalty. I remember asking my mother what the death penalty was all about. She explained the law in terms that a child would understand and I said, “That’s not fair!”
Some sixty years later I believe that the death penalty still isn’t fair. There is no doubt that innocent people have been executed by the state. Sadly, the death penalty leaves not only the families of the murder victims grieving, but also the families of the executed prisoners. It is no secret that the death penalty discriminates against people of color, the poor, and the mentally ill.
I am friends with several death row prisoners and I can attest to the fact that each one grew up in a home of relentless abuse, poverty, and conflict. Two of these men have brain damage caused by severe beatings and drug abuse when they were young.
Recently, Clifford Williams became the 29th exonerated Florida Death Row survivor after serving 42 years in prison. Sadly, there are more men facing the same unconstitutionally determined fate and I am heartbroken that Florida’s new governor signed his first Death Warrant instead of calling for a moratorium on executions.
I call for an end to this barbaric, arbitrary, and unnecessary practice. I will continue working to abolish the death penalty for as long as I live, and I urge others to join me in the fight.
Mary Anne Hoffman is Chair of Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty and a Board Member of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty – FADP, the statewide Florida grassroots organization fighting for the abolition of the death penalty.
Learn more about FADP’s leadership team and how you can join them in the struggle to end executions.