In 2007, Montana made history when the Montana Senate voted to abolish the death penalty and replace it with life without the possibility of parole. Though the bill failed by a single vote in the House Committee, the success in the legislature showed that we are on the verge of victory. The Montana Abolition Coalition is seizing the opportunity and the momentum to abolish the death penalty in the 2009 legislative session.
The Montana Abolition Coalition is a broad based group of organizations and individuals committed to ending the death penalty in Montana. The Coalition includes faith groups, civil rights organizations, and murder victims' families groups. The groups differ in their reasons, but all agree on the need to end capital punishment.
The Coalition recognizes the need to bring together murder victim family members, exonerees and death row families and have them share their stories with the public.
So that is why the Coalition has invited Journey of Hope to Montana. We hope the Journey will change minds and help expand the support for abolition. We know that the speakers have the power to win us votes in the legislature. The Coalition has determined a number of legislative districts that are key to winning in the next legislative session. These will be focused on during the Journey by having a number of venues in those districts and arranging for legislators and legislative candidates to attend Journey events. By having the Journey work in the targeted legislative districts, we will build grassroots support for abolition in these key areas. So in the 2009 session, we will have a strong organized group of constituents that will help move legislators to vote their conscience and end capital punishment in our state.
The Journey will take place October 2nd through October 11th, 2008. Events will be held throughout the state in a wide variety of venues.
Montana made national headlines in 2007 with the State Senate's vote to end capital punishment. Today, abolition is closer than ever. With the help of Journey of Hope, we can have victory in 2009!
Coordinator, Montana Abolition Coalition