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Inmates Protest Life Sentences: ‘The Other Death Penalty’

May 20th, 2009 by josh farley

britannica_prison

A new nationwide campaign kicks off today whose goal is to end the sentence of life without parole. The Other Death Penalty Project,” is starting by sending out the first of more than 900 organizing kits to prisoners across the country.

The project says 33,000 people are in America’s prisons today that will never see the outside again. And that, in the campaign’s eyes, constitutes a violation of a person’s Eighth Amendment rights protecting them from cruel and unusual punishment.

(Please feel free to take a poll on this subject at right.)

Interestingly, it is also taking aim at “those in the anti-death penalty movement who advocate for life without the possibility of parole as an alternative to the more obvious, traditional forms of execution,” a press release from the organization said. “Fundamentally, The Other Death Penalty Project believes that all prisoners should have, at least, the possibility of parole.”

They also cite this fact: that there are 12 prisoners in the entire rest of the world serving life without the possibility of parole for crimes committed as juveniles; there are more than 2,000 in the United States. And they call America worse than China or Iran for having so many given a sentence that locks the door and throws away the key.


Here’s more from the campaign:

“Sadly, in a Faustian bargain, the death penalty abolition movement, with few exceptions, has bought into the lie that a slow death by incarceration is a humane alternative to a quick death by lethal injection. Clearly, these groups have never taken the time to speak to prisoners serving life without the possibility of parole.

The Other Death Penalty Project will mobilize the nation’s life without the possibility of parole prisoners to tell their stories, to peacefully lobby the free world to re-think sentencing policies driven by fear. It is time to tell the whole story of the death penalty. It is time to include the plight of the 90% of those sentenced to death who don’t elicit candlelit vigils or impassioned speeches by actors outside the prison gates; the 90% who don’t attract crusading attorneys or get automatic appeals before the highest courts.

Along with the first mass mailing, The Other Death Penalty Project announces the full activation of www.theotherdeathpenalty.org, an interactive website where interested parties can access resource materials, download a moving PowerPoint presentation, and create their own Prisoner Organizing Kit.”

Photo by http://www.federal-prison.org/

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12 Responses to “Inmates Protest Life Sentences: ‘The Other Death Penalty’”

  1. Mike Miller Says:

    The phrase “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time” comes to mind.

  2. Dennis White Says:

    What nonsense. I’m against the death penalty for too many reasons to go into here. Imprisonment is not only meant as punishment. It is a way to keep violent criminals segregated from the rest of us. Conflating questions about punishment for juvenile offenders with those old enough to understand their crimes is disingenuos.

  3. Waldo Says:

    Sucks to be them…

    Maybe we should poll the people (or their families) who they wronged and see their opinion on the matter?

  4. Kathy Says:

    If they don’t like life without possibility of parole, they should be allowed to exercise their freedom of choice: choose life without parole or execution. That should stop the whining from the lifers.

  5. NWMonkeyGirl Says:

    Boo hoo.

    Maybe they should have thought of the consequences before they broke the law.

  6. Jessie Crowl Says:

    I think if the judge sentences a prisoner to life without parole it is for a good reason. Most prisoners that get life with parole still end up doing a lengthy sentence and then just get thrown back into the community after years and years of being behind bars. The work to rehibilitate these prisoners is more work than necessary.

  7. mark Says:

    seriously?? since I am not a University man , help the common citizen understand why someone with a criminal history that commits a criminal act wants to be treated “not like a criminal”? I know, alot of the criminals are first time offenders who recieve life without the possibility of parole. What was the crime associated with the life sentence? So, how long should we allow them to “rehab” in prison before they are parole eligible? We have an estimated 5 million children homeless, hungry and in need of care. Some of those situations created by the criminals serving life sentences without parole. The rest, dont get 3 meals a day, watch tv, play, sleep in a warm bed or free medical care. So, what should we do with the career criminal? Are they going to give this”opportunity” to those who have made 1 mistake or those repeat offenders who have a folder that reads like a chapter from a law and order episode. Why stop there, how about letting the guys who shoot 13 people off with a warning? Or maybe, the mother who kills her children because she wants to start a life with another man? I want to say to the Inmates, your an inmate for a reason and the responsibility is on you. What Mike Miller said rings true!

  8. Sam Thacker Says:

    I love this part “And they call America worse than China or Iran for having so many given a sentence that locks the door and throws away the key.”

    “At least 3,000 people (and probably considerably more) were sentenced to death during 2007, and at the end of the year around 25,000 were on death row, with Pakistan and the USA accounting for about half this figure. China carries out by far the greatest number of executions: Amnesty International has confirmed at least 470 during 2007, but the true figure has been estimated at up to 6,000. Outside China, at least 800 people were put to death in 23 countries during 2007, with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq and the USA the main contributors. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen executed people for crimes committed when they were juveniles, in contravention of international law.” (Source-Amnesty International)

    The reason they don’t have “Life without parole” is because in other countries, they actually carry out the sentence.

    Little known Washington State Tourism Motto “You can kill us, we won’t kill you!”

  9. Steve McDermott Says:

    Every person serving one of these life sentences I am sure is innocent or had mitigating factors to show that they weren’t totally at fault.

    They should be happy they are in the U.S. They are still alive – and if they are innocent, they can search for the “real killer” from behind bars or petition for a new trial. An option that many Chinese juvenile offenders do not enjoy.

  10. Jim C. Says:

    As soon as a murderer can bring the victim back to life, then maybe, just maybe, there could be a possibility of parole. Good luck with that.

  11. Maggie E Says:

    My husband was brutally beaten during a robbery of his business by one 15 year old juvenile and one 16 year old Juvenile in 1993. My husband was in a coma for 41 days before he passed away. The 15 year old was 4 moths short of 16 and could not be tried as an adult and has been out of Calif Youth Authority 6 years. The 16 year, 2 months over 16 was tried as an adult and received a Life Without Parole Sentence (LWOP) Survivors walk out of the court room thinking we have received justice, won’t have to worry about this puke getting out again and we can try to go on with our life…HAHA…We should alway be looking over our shoulder as the lovers of inmates work their little hearts out to free these puke. They could care less about the victim and their family.We have become a county who cares more for the guilty party before the innocent victim. Now I have to fight each year to keep my husbands killer in Prison..CA bill # SB399 is a slap in the face to victim survivors…These is a big movement across the country to change pukes sentences and the victim survivors are not being informed as the puke has now become the victim. Go to http://www.jlwopvictims.org and see our fight.

  12. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Those inmates sentenced to life in prison should be put down instead.
    Citizens should never have to worry that their lives are worth less than proven and sentenced human killers.
    Sharon O’Hara

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