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Sunday, December 09, 2018

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Starving for Justice - June 29-July 2 2018


Thursday, May 31, 2018 Age: 192 Days
By: Bill Pelke

The Abolitionists Action Committee will be hosting the 25th Annual Fast and Vigil at the front steps of the United States Supreme Court for four days of action in a call for abolition of the death penalty. Journey of Hope from Violence to Healing, Witness to Innocence, Death Penalty Action and other major organizations will be coming together as the abolition family continues to grow. 25 years ago, I learned the importance of 2 Supreme Courts dates on decisions that affect the death penalty. On June 29, 1972 the Furman Decision stopped the death penalty in the USA. On July 2, 1976 the Graham Decision allowed the death penalty to resume.

Dr. Rick Halperin, Director of SMU's Embrey Human Rights Program, invited me and Marietta Jaeger to his home when the two of us were in Dallas, at SMU on a speaking tour. Rick felt the dates should be commemorated in some way and between the three of us, we came up with the idea of a fast and vigil in front of the Supreme Court commemorating those dates. We committed that the three of us would be there. To me, Rick Halperin is Mr Abolition. What an honor to be associated with Rick and Marietta. Rick is a board member of the Journey of Hope.

Marietta Jaeger has been in demand as a speaker all over the world. Her story of forgiveness is powerful and she has touched the hearts of thousands. Marietta is also a board member and cofounder of the Journey of Hope. The three of us went out for something to eat as we all arrived in DC for what we called our last supper, then arrived at the Court House shortly before midnight and we all had our private spiritual reflexions and we continued to fast and welcomed others as they joined us throughout our time in front of the Court.

I made a pledge that I would continue to come to the court each year until the death penalty was abolished. This is number 25. I have not missed a day yet and I don't intend to miss this year. Alaskans Against the Death Penalty has provided travel expense for me to attend and my flights are booked. Rick will be there, Marietta will be there along with a hosts of wonderful people and groups.

I no longer fast, but I did for about ten years until I found out I had diabetes and should not fast, so I don't any more. Fasting has never been required and some may fast one day or none at all. Fasting is often a spiritual thing for many people. It was that way for me. It keeps you focused on your goal and what you can do to help achieve it.

Please come and join us at the US Supreme Court. You will give us a louder voice even if it is for only an hour.

Meet some of the greatest abolitionist in the country.


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