Church of the Brethren
Rachel Gross, Director
P.O. Box 600
Liberty Mills, IN 46946


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DRSP News, Issue 17, October 2017

By Tara Collum

Good News! We were happy to hear from a pen pal who testified as a character witness at her pen pal's resentencing hearing, where his death penalty was struck and replaced with a life sentence. Hallelujah!

Capital punishment is an emotional and controversial issue, and there are many reasons for its opposition. Some people are against it for moral or religious reasons. They believe it is barbaric and outmoded.

Then there are the practical reasons.

  • It hasn’t been proven to be a crime deterrent.
  • It is unfairly and arbitrarily applied.
  • The mentally ill and the marginalized are sentenced in high numbers.
  • It is extremely expensive. Money spent on capital punishment could be used for victim services, community resources, and crime prevention.
  • Death row prisoners can be kept in solitary confinement for decades.
  • There are alternative sentencing options, including life without the possibility of parole.
  • It is out of step with the United Nations, and most industrialized nations.
  • It has a brutalizing effect on society.
  • It is vengeance that creates more violence and pain.
  • The risk of executing an innocent person is too great.

Consider or please continue to share your thoughts on the death penalty with a letter to the editor of a newspaper, or call, email, or write a letter to a governor's office.

In Florida, State Attorney Aramis Ayala lost the battle to use her discretion to not pursue the death penalty. She has said her office will instate a panel to examine each death penalty-eligible case, and she will respect the decisions of the panel. Governor Rick Scott, in his support of the death penalty, has attacked her personally. He has said of her efforts, "She unilaterally decided to not stand on the side of victims and their families, which is completely sickening."

Support Aramis Ayala, and let Governor Rick Scott know how you feel about capital punishment and Florida's use of it.

The telephone number of Governor Rick Scott's office is (850) 488-7146.

Email at

The mailing address is
Office of Governor Rick Scott
The Capitol
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee FL 32399-0001

The times we at the Death Row Support Project have called a governor's office, the phone is always answered by friendly and helpful staff who are happy to take a message.

To find a list of upcoming executions, please visit the link from the Death Penalty Information Center at or follow the Marshall Project at

For more death penalty information, visit Rick Halperin’s Death Penalty News & Updates at

We would love to hear your stories of how things are going with your pen pals, or the steps you have taken to help end capital punishment. Thank you for your continued support of the Death Row Support Project.

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