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Groups to Highlight Failures of the Death Penalty on 30th Anniversary of Gregg Decision at Washington DC Press Conference

United Methodist Church Marks 50th Anniversary of its Call to End Executions as Part of “Starvin' For Justice 2006; The 13th Annual Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at The U.S. Supreme Court”


Contact: Abe Bonowitz, Abolitionist Action Committee, 561-371-5204 cell, abe@abolition.org; David Elliot, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, 202-543-9577 ext. 16, 202-607-7036 cell, delliot@ncadp.org; Bill Mefford, United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, 202-488-5657


WASHINGTON, June 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- Several groups will hold a press conference in Washington, DC, on the 30th Anniversary of the Gregg Decision.


Press Conference Details ---


Who: United Methodist Church Bishop Ray Chamberlain, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox, Death Row Survivors Gary Beeman, Shujaa Graham, Ron Keine, Ray Krone, and Darby Tillis, Murder Victim Family Members Bill Pelke and George White, and other leaders of various anti-death penalty organizations.


What: Press Conference


When: 10:30 AM, Friday, June 30, 2006


Where: On the sidewalk in front of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, DC


Why: July 2, 2006 marks the 30th anniversary of the Gregg V. Georgia decision in which the United States Supreme Court upheld laws written to reinstate the death penalty after all death penalty laws were struck down by the Furman decision in 1972. Leaders of the anti-death penalty movement will speak out about recent developments regarding the issue, noting how the death penalty continues to fail as a public policy in the United States. Also, the United Methodist Church is this year marking the 50th anniversary of becoming the first major Christian denomination to call for the abolition of the death penalty in the United States.


This press conference is part of the Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at the US Supreme Court, wherein anti-death penalty activists will converge on Washington, D.C. from Thursday, June 29 through Sunday, July 2 for four days of activities commemorating the historic 1972 and 1976 Supreme Court rulings that suspended the death penalty in the United States and later allowed executions to resume.


This is the thirteenth year in a row that the Abolitionist Action Committee has held its annual Fast and Vigil between the dates of these two landmark decisions. Activists, many of whom are fasting the entire four days, are traveling to Washington D.C. from across the United States and beyond.


Highlights of this highly visual and interactive annual event include live music and evening teach-ins by death row survivors, murder victim family members, and noted activists and scholars. Please see details at http://www.abolition.org/starvin13.html


ATTENTION REPORTERS, EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: Consider interviews with activists from your specific state or region. A "media availability" will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 30 on the sidewalk in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, but we are available all day on June 29 and 30, and July 1 and 2.


The Abolitionist Action Committee is an ad-hoc group of individuals committed to highly visible and effective public education for alternatives to the death penalty through nonviolent direct action.


Contact the AAC at: