In the last 15 years, 11 states have repealed capital punishment, including this month, Virginia, which became the 23rd state to end the death penalty in the U.S. Three other states have moratoriums, bringing the total to 26 states. More states have all but abandoned it in practice.
ACLU supporters across Florida are invited to join our Florida Keys Chapter on Thursday, April 15, to learn what led to this significant trend, and why Florida will soon be next.
Moderator — Trish D. Gibson: experienced criminal trial attorney based in the Florida Keys.
Casandra Stubbs — Cassy Stubbs is the director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. Cassy joined the project in 2006 and since then has served as lead and associate counsel on behalf of death row inmates and defendants in trials and appeals throughout the South, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Her clients have included Levon “Bo” Jones, a North Carolina death row inmate who was exonerated in 2008 when the state dismissed all charges against him, and Richard C. Taylor, a severely mentally ill man who was sentenced to death after a sham trial in Tennessee, but who won a new trial on appeal and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. Cassy has also worked with numerous organizations and ACLU affiliates to file amicus briefs in capital cases in state and federal courts around the country. She has written policy papers, editorials and blog posts on a wide range of capital issues, such as the persistence of racial disparities in capital punishment and the fundamental flaws of purported claims that the death penalty deters future murders.
Herman Lindsey — Herman Lindsey spent more than 3 years on Florida’s Death Row. On July 9, 2009, the Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously (7–0) that Herman Lindsey be acquitted and released from Death Row. He became the 23rd exonerated Florida Death Row survivor. Florida leads the nation in sending 30 wrongfully convicted people to Death Row – some freed after up to 30-40 years behind bars. No one knows how many innocent people have been executed or how many more innocent people remain on Death Row. Herman is on the Board of Directors of Witness to Innocence and Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
Mark Elliott — Mark Elliott, FADP Executive Director, is a native Floridian. In 2004, he left a career in medical technology systems and began work to abolish the death penalty as the State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator for AIUSA. In 2006, he became Executive Director of FADP – Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. FADP is a statewide grassroots organization that represents the many various and diverse stakeholders in Florida’s struggle to abolish the death penalty and replace it with effective, humane, racially equitable, healing alternatives to its use and reform our criminal justice system.