The Annual Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break is an invaluable experience. Participants will come away with firsthand knowledge of the anti-death penalty movement and a new understanding of how they can affect public policy. Plus, they will have an opportunity to form new friendships that could last a lifetime. During the spring break students will have plenty of free time to enjoy Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World and home of the University of Texas at Austin and the SXSW Music, Film and Interactive Festival, which takes place the same week as our alternative spring break.
Guest speakers this year include three innocent, exonerated people who together spent a total of more than 23 years on death row, Curtis McCarty, Shujaa Graham and Ron Keine.
Join us March 15-19, 2010 in Austin, Texas for the award-winning Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break. It's free, except for a $25 housing fee for those who need us to arrange housing for you. We will house you in a shared room with other spring breakers in either a hotel or dorm. You are responsible for your travel, food and other expenses, but the program and most of the housing costs are on us, except for the $25 housing fee.
Alternative Spring Breaks are designed to give college and high school students something more meaningful to do during their week off, rather than just spending time at the beach or sitting at home catching up on school work. The specific purpose of this Alternative Spring Break is to provide five days of anti-death penalty activism, education and entertainment. This is the place to be if you want to become a part of the next generation of human rights leaders. Go to the beach to change your state of mind for a week, come here to change the world forever.
We will provide participants with workshops led by experienced, knowledgeable presenters who will teach them skills that they can use to go back home and set up new anti-death penalty student organizations or improve ones that may already exist. The skills participants will learn can also be used in other issues besides the death penalty.
Students will gain valuable training and experience in grassroots organizing, lobbying, preparing a direct action and media relations. During the week, students will immediately put what they learn into action during activities such as an Anti-Death Penalty Lobby Day and a Protest Day with a rally at the Texas Capitol. There will be opportunities to write press releases, speak in public, meet with legislators or their aides, and conceive and carry out a protest.
Now is one of the most critical times ever to learn about and organize against the death penalty.
In Sept 2009, we learned from a state-funded report that Texas executed Todd Willingham for arson/murder even though the fire was not arson it was just a fire, so Texas executed an innocent person.
Sharon Keller, the presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, has been charged with incompetence and misconduct for saying “we close at 5″ on Sept 25, 2007 when lawyers called her court to submit a late appeal for a person later executed that same day.
Texas leads the nation by far in number of executions. In 2009, Texas carried out almost 46 percent of all executions in the United States. Texas executed 24 people in 2009. There were a total of 52 executions in the U.S. in 2009. Since the U.S Supreme Court ruling in 1976 that allowed executions to resume after a four-year period during which they were considered unconstitutional, there have been 1193 executions in the United States (as of Jan 25, 2010). Texas has performed 449 of those executions, which amounts to about 37 percent of the national total. According to the 2000 census, Texas has only 7.4 percent of the nation's entire population.
There has been progress against the death penalty. In 2009, New Mexico became the 15th state to abolish the death penalty. New Jersey abolished the death penalty in 2007. Death sentences have dropped in the last several years. Texas only sentenced nine people to death in 2009.
Nationwide, there are now 60% fewer death sentences yearly than in the 1990s. There were 106 death sentences in 2009 compared with a high of 328 in 1994.
Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break is a program of Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Moratorium Network, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Campaign to End the Death Penalty - Austin Chapter, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Texans Against the Death Penalty, Campus Progress and Journey of Hope ... From Violence to Healing.
Official Website: http://springbreakalternative.org/deathpenalty
Added by niris on January 25, 2010