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World Day against the Death Penalty 2009: Teaching Abolition

Rosalyn Park
Research Director

(w) 612-341-3302, ext. 106


Robin Phillips

Executive Director

(w) 612-341-3302, ext. 109


World Day against the Death Penalty 2009: Teaching Abolition
Minneapolis (October 9, 2009) –October 10, 2009 marks the seventh annual World Day against the Death Penalty. To commemorate this year’s theme, “Teaching Abolition,” The Advocates for Human Rights is releasing a toolkit on the death penalty for people in the United States and around the world.
The toolkit provides information, stories and teaching materials designed to educate students and adults about the reality of the death penalty. Using a framework of international law, the toolkit encourages debate on the effectiveness and cost of the death penalty, as well as the rights of inmates. Included in the toolkit are a fact sheet, PowerPoint presentation, quiz, glossary, resource list, take action guide, and testimonials. The toolkit will be available free for download on The Advocates’ website, www.discoverhumanrights.org.
The toolkit focuses on the United States, which in 2008 was one of only 25 countries in the world to carry out executions and where to date, 135 people on death row have been exonerated. Around the world, 139 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice.
One testimonial included in the toolkit is the story of Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, whose advocacy to abolish the death penalty is rooted in the murder of her sister Nancy Bishop Langert and her husband, Richard Langert. Jennifer, who serves on the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s board of directors, says, “I am genuinely committed to using the days that I have in my life, that I am acutely aware my sister will never have, to do all I can to end the cycles of violence in this world. It is the only way I can live in the wake of her murder that makes sense to me.”
The Advocates for Human Rights has worked for almost two decades to oppose the death penalty worldwide. The Advocates recognizes that the capricious and arbitrary administration of the death penalty in the United States results in an enormous need for competent lawyers to assist death row inmates with their post-conviction appeals. The Advocates' Death Penalty Project was organized in 1991 to recruit attorneys to respond to this need. The Project also provides education and advocacy on death penalty issues.
The Advocates is also a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, an organization that aims to strengthen the international dimension of the struggle against capital punishment. Composed of 95 members from around the globe, it facilitates the constitution and development of national and regional coalitions against the death penalty, leads lobbying actions towards international organizations and States, and organizes events that have an international impact.
Media representatives are invited to schedule interviews regarding World Day against the Death Penalty. For more information on the day and The Advocates’ Death Penalty Project, please contact Rosalyn Park at 612-341-3302 x106.
The Advocates for Human Rights is a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of internationally recognized human rights. The Advocates investigates and exposes human rights violations; provides representation to immigrants and refugees who have suffered human rights abuses; trains and assists groups that protect human rights; and works through education and advocacy to engage the public, policymakers, and children about human rights issues. The Advocates for Human Rights holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.