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Posts tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

Stop Execution of Rape Victim

Gabriel –

Terry Williams is facing the death penalty in three weeks for killing the man who repeatedly raped him.

But when Terry was convicted, the jury didn’t know the whole story. At the time of his trial, jurors say they had no history or background of the sexual assault and abuse that Terry Williams had suffered for years.

Terry was brutally raped for five years, beginning when he was thirteen, by an older man he trusted — Amos Norwood. When the jury learned his information after the trial, five jurors came forward to say that they no longer supported his death sentence. Even Norwood’s widow has forgiven him, and does not want Terry to be executed.

Sign the petition on Change.org asking Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania to stop Terry’s execution scheduled on October 3 — click here to add your name.

“When I heard about Terry Williams’ life and his legal case, I knew I had to do what I could to stop the scheduled execution of a man who should not be on death row and would not be on death row had the jury heard all the relevant evidence,” said Sue Osthoff, Director of the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, a Philadelphia-based organization that assists victims of abuse and trauma who have been charged with crimes related to their abuse.

Like many of the victims of abuse Sue assists, Terry was repeatedly victimized. For Terry, that abuse by older males in his life started when he was only six years old. Despite continuing to suffer sexual abuse for the next twelve years, Terry received no counseling or support to help him deal with the repeated violence he endured. In fact, some of the people who were supposed to help were the ones who actually preyed on him.

None of this information was presented to the jurors during Terry’s sentencing; had it been, Terry would not be on death row.

The public outcry for Terry’s clemency is growing. A broad coalition of people has joined the jurors and victim’s widow in asking that Terry’s sentence be commuted from death to life. Those calling for Terry’s life to be spared include a growing list of child advocates, victims’ rights advocates, former prosecutors and judges, law professors, mental health professionals, and faith leaders across Pennsylvania.

Sue Osthoff is very familiar with stories like Terry’s. She started this petition because she believes that if the jury had all of the evidence, they would not have sentenced Terry to death.

Join Sue in calling on Governor Corbett to spare Terry Williams’ life for killing the man who raped him.

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Emilia and the Change.org team

Pennsyvlania Denying Right to Vote

Department of Justice Investigating Pennsylvania’s Voter Suppression Tactics

Pennsylvania’s new “voter I.D.” law could literally decide the fate of President Obama’s re-election.

It’s not the first time that Republicans have tried to suppress the vote — but in an election this close, it could be the tipping point that delivers the Presidency to Mitt Romney.

Help us reach 100,000 strong in support of the Department of Justice’s investigation of Pennsylvania voter suppression — Add your name >>

Gabriel — Republicans’ attempt to disenfranchise voters is just a shameless attempt to steal this election.

Even the Pennsylvania Republicans’ Majority Leader, Mike Turzai, boasted, “Voter ID…is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” We all remember what happened in Florida in 2000. We can’t let Republicans get away with disenfranchising nearly 1-in-10 voters in a critical swing state like Pennsylvania in 2012.

Help us fight it:

http://dccc.org/PA-Voter-Suppression

Brynne

Brynne Craig
DCCC Field Director

P.S. Do you have a Republican friend that claims these onerous voter I.D. laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud? Tell them the state of Pennsylvania just admitted in a court filing that they have no evidence of in-person voter fraud, then help us fight back.

Quakers

The Only Alternative: Christian Nonviolent Peacemakers in America
by Alan Nelson and John Malkin. (Excerpt)

The Quakers

The movement to create the Quakers – more formally known as the Religious Society of Friends began in England in the mid-1600s. A leather worker and shepherd named George Fox (1624-1691) led in developing this new Christian way of gathering, studying, praying and taking action. The first Quakers emphasized the importance of personal guidance and direct experience of the teachings of Jesus. From their early days, the Quakers challenged the authority and dogma of church and state and they questioned the notion that a minister or intermediary was necessary to know God. Quakers have often suffered imprisonment, confiscation of property and death in their struggles for freedom and justice. Fox wrote in his journal that he was frequently beaten or forced out of a town after verbally challenging clergy about matters regarding faith and politics.

Fox encouraged William Penn (1644-1718) to establish a colony in North America where a “holy experiment” could take shape. In 1681, King Charles II of England had settled a debt owed to Penn’s father by grating to William Penn ownership of a vast area of land in America. Penn left for America on August 13, 1682, to set up the colony with thousands of other Quakers who shared a vision of creating a community where they could worship as they chose without persecution by the British government or the Catholic Church. The “Holy Experiment” became known as Pennsylvania. There are currently about 300,000 Quakers worldwide.

Relations between Quakers and American Indians were peaceful, especially compared to the bloody history between American Indians and most other early Christian and non-Christian immigrant groups. Also, the Religious Society of Friends has always worked for equal rights for women, regarding women and men as equal children of God and equally capable of public ministry and of filling leadership roles in the Quaker community and church.

Quakers were among the first to oppose slavery in the United States and to prohibit it among their members. Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania, protested slavery as early as 1688. John Woolman (1720-1772), a colonial Quaker, opposed and helped to eradicate slavery among Quakers in the United States.

Another Quaker, Levi Coffin (1789-1877), was called “the president of the Underground Railroad” because, using their home as a safe house, he and his wife and family helped about three thousand slaves escape to freedom. Coffin gave escaped slaves food, shelter, medical care and safe transportation. Such revolutionary social action was not popular with landowners, slaveholders, or some Quakers, who deemed Coffin’s actions “too radical.” In spite of death threats and attacks on their home, Levi Coffin and his family continued their liberating work rooted in Christian nonviolence to help ex-slaves begin new lives, free from their former “owners.”

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