Rest in Peace Louis Gaskin
It has been another dark week in the Sunshine State. Sometimes it feels impossible to keep moving forward. I’ve found comfort this week in the words of the beloved Mister Rogers – “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
I want you to know that YOU are the helpers.
On Wednesday, the State of Florida executed Louis Gaskin. I was joined by dozens of “helpers” at Florida State Prison where we held a vigil for Mr. Gaskin. We prayed, we sang, we stood in solidarity, and one by one, we rang the bell. Once we received confirmation that the state-sanctioned murder was complete, we released this statement to the press. Please – watch and share the video, the pictures, and our statement.
Two of our Board Members and exonerees, Ron Wright and Herman Lindsey, both spoke at our vigils. I am always in awe of the bravery of these men who go back to the very places where they were condemned to die and stand up for those still behind the walls.
Sadly, we will be doing this again in three weeks for the planned execution of Darryl Barwick, which is scheduled to occur on May 3 at 6 pm. As we all recover from Louis’ execution, we must also prepare to do everything we can to stop Darryl’s. Sign and share the petition today.
Finally, despite spirited debate, yesterday, the Florida House of Representatives passed SB 450, the non-unanimous death penalty jury bill, by a vote of 80-30. I encourage you to watch the discussion of the legislation – it begins at 7:54:30 and ends at 9:41:47. You will hear and see that there are legislators speaking out against the death penalty, and they are using our words.
The bill is now headed to Governor DeSantis’ desk and we have one last chance to stop this bill. Please contact Governor DeSantis NOW and urge him to Veto SB 450. This bill will add people to death row and increase the risk of wrongful convictions, and would return Florida to its outlier state as the most extreme death penalty state in the country. Call. Email. Take action. Share.
In these dark times, keep looking for the helpers. Be a helper with me. The men and women on Florida’s death row need us.
FADP Executive Director
P.S.: Please make a contribution today so we can continue to help our helpers.