Sunday, July 13, 2008

Protest outside the Supreme Court

Members of various activist groups from around the country, under the umbrella of the Abolitionist Action Committee (AAC), gathered at the U.S. Supreme Court on July 1st to protest capital punishment as well as Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain's support for the death penalty.

This protest was part of "Starvin, for Justice '08", the 15th Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at the US Supreme Court. The event was a four day fast & vigil maintaining a presence at SCOTUS, the Supreme Court Of The United States. Some of the participants fasted during this time, but fasting was not required. The AAC encountered thousands of visitors to the Court and shared our message that no matter how you slice it, the death penalty is BAD PUBLIC POLICY. Much of the time was spent talking to individuals and creating visibility. Several larger events were held at key times during the event to highlight specific concerns, with a series of speakers each evening to educate, enlighten and entertain.

Those who participated in the full event arrived on June 28th and departed on July 3rd. June 29 and July 2 are anniversaries of key death penalty decisions: June 29th is the anniversary of the Furman v. Georgia decision in 1972, in which the U.S. Supreme Court found the death penalty to be arbitrary and capricious. More than 600 condemned inmates had their death sentences reduced to life. All states were required to re-write their death penalty laws. July 2nd is the anniversary of the Gregg v. Georgia decision in 1976 which allowed the resumption of executions in the United States.

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