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Saturday, November 16, 2019

10-18 TCADP Announcement


The Journey of Hope is coming to Bryan at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday October 18.  This is a really great event because it brings some
fantastic speakers to town to talk about the death penalty and share their very personal experiences with it.  Family members of murder
victims will share the stage with the family of men on death row.  This will be a truly inspirational event.  (a complete announcement
suitable for forwarding is pasted below)  Please share it with friends.

Since TCADP is sponsoring, we need help.  We need people to help with logistics, set up, take down, working tables after the event, etc.
etc.  We need volunteers to arrive at 6:30 p.m. at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Bryan (401 S. Parker, 5 blocks west of Texas Ave.
on 29th street).   


No matter what you feel about the death penalty, we can all agree that it is an issue that requires thought and consideration and the
perspectives of those most affected by this institution need to be heard.   The families of victims and the families of those being
executed help us learn about the real personal consequences of the death penalty.  

On Tuesday October 18 you have the opportunity to hear those perspectives when the Journey of Hope is coming to town.  The Journey
is a monthlong tour around Texas by nearly 80 persons visiting churches, schools, and many other venues talking about the death
penalty.  What makes the Journey different is that the speakers are made up of family members of  death row inmates and family of murder
victims.  Their message is one of love and forgiveness. Bios of the speakers coming to BCS are presented below.  

Bring friends who are ambivalent about the death penalty, they need to hear this.  

There are 2 open events:
At 5:15 there is a talk in the Rudder Building sponsored by the campus organization, Aggies Against the Death Penalty

At 7:00 there is a community event at St. Anthony's Catholic Church , which is located 5 blocks west of Texas Ave. on 29th Street in Bryan.  That event is being sponsored by St. Anthony's Catholic Church, The Unitarian Universalist Church, Friends Congregational Church and the Brazos Valley chapter of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

TAMU, 5:15 in Rudder Tower

In 1985 George W. White and his wife were shot by an armed robber at his place of business in Alabama. Sixteen months later, George was charged with murdering his wife.  Following a capital murder trial, George was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.  His conviction was overturned in 1989 and he was released from prison, but George remained in legal limbo until 1992, when proof of his innocence was finally brought forward. The White family rejects the death penalty as a solution or way of healing and George is now a full time speaker and lecturer on the topic, who lives in Florida.

©Christina Lawson  has suffered the loss of her father and her husband.  Her father was murdered when she was a child and her husband, David Martinez, was executed this past summer, July 28, 2005.  She has witnessed the pain from both sides: the loss of her father, the anger and hate felt towards his killer, the loss of her husband, the sorrow for his victim’s family and loved ones, the loss of a Daddy for their child.  She has realized through her pain, “The death penalty does not bring anyone back, it does not heal anyone... it brings back the pain of losing a loved one and destroys another innocent family.  Murder creates victims; it doesn't matter if it is a
person or a state doing it. It causes the same loss and pain.”

©Tracy Spirko’s husband John Spirko is on Ohio's Death Row with an Execution Date of November 15th. Her story starts with her best friend being murdered in 1982.  As part of the grieving process all she wanted was the person or persons who did that to die.  At some point she began visiting a friend in Ohio's Prison System, and had a long hard look into her heart and realized that the Death Penalty is WRONG. Tracy has had pen pals in Prison since the age of 15, “I heard back from John who told me that it might make me mad, but he said, I'm Innocent!!! I thought to myself Yeah, you and everyone else on Death Row! I looked into his case and realized he really was INNOCENT!! “ John just received a temporary reprieve and ordered a new full parole board hearing for executive clemency on Nov 11th.

©Mike Kennedy is a free lance peace activist from Dallas, Texas.  Mike has been on every annual Journey event since the organization was founded.  Mike participated on the Pilgrimage and TASK Marches and has attended at least 9 fast and vigils in front of the United States Supreme Court, even in spite of his degenerative cerebellum condition.

St. Anthony's 7:00 p.m.
©Felicia Draughon’s summer between her Junior and Senior year of High School, was spent  in Houston at her brother's capital murder trial. Until that moment she wasn't really even aware that the death penalty existed. It seemed so archaic and silly. Her brother was sentenced to death on a gloomy, rainy day that summer in July 1987. Sso her journey began in order to try and make sense of the Capital Punishment Machine. “Like so many people on the Journey of Hope I didn't choose to become an anti-death penalty activist, it chose me. I certainly didn't choose to have a brother on death row...but it is because I have a brother on death row that I have had to ponder this issue every single day of my life and learn how tragic, unfair and arbitrary it is,”  Felicia became involved in the Journey of Hope in
1998 in Texas and that is where she found a support group and her voice.

©Eloise Williams has suffered through the loss of three loved ones to murder.  Her son was killed in 1983, her sister in 1991, and her grandson in 1994.  She says, “God has chosen me to give love, not seek vengeance and the death penalty.”  Eloise lived in New Orleans and has participated in several Journeys of Hope.  She has become a victim of hurricane Katrina and relocated to Beaumont, TX for now.

Abe Bonowitz is the Director of Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.  Abe is also a member of the national board of directors of the Journey of Hope From Violence to Healing. Abe has been working to educate the public about the need for death penalty alternatives for over 15 years.  He only came to this position after arguing for many years to disprove the facts presented by death penalty opponents.  Abe changed his position after conducting extensive research on the issue by studying the academic and statistical research available from the government, scholars and various non-governmental organizations. Abe has worked in the death penalty section of the Ohio Defender commission, with murder victims’ family members, and with death row inmates.