• Don Lichterman

Death Penalty Focus, Pervis Payne, Julius Jones, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty...

Pervis Payne

Pervis Payne is a man who has been on death row for 32 years-over half of his life. He has maintained his innocence and the same story this entire time. He is set to be executed in the state of Tennessee on December the fourth 2020.

When he was given the death sentence in 1988 the DNA evidence was not tested in this case. Multiple times Payne has asked for the finger prints to be tested too and he was denied.

He also has an intellectual disability and in the state of tennessee the supreme court has ruled twice that they have, “No business executing people with intellectual disabilities.” It is also unconstitutional due to the 8th amendment.

The details of the crime are as follows. Payne heard his neighbor cry out in her apartment and went to go help. He found her and her daughter stabbed almost to death. He removed the butcher knife from her neck and attempted to revive her. When the police came he fled for fear that they would kill him on cite because they would assume he was guilty because of his race. He saw another man flee the scene as well.

None of the DNA on the crime scene was tested and there is virtually no evidence proving his guilt. His execution is not only unconstitutional, but it will also be an execution of an innocent man.

Julius Jones

Julius Jones is innocent. Don’t let him be executed by the state of Oklahoma. 6,052,299 have signed Cece Jones-Davis (Julius Jones Coalition)’s petition. Let’s get to 7,500,000!

Sign now with a click. When Julius Jones was 19-years-old, he was convicted of a murder he says he did not commit. I need your help to save his life.

Julius has lived on death row for almost 20 years, and is held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. He is allowed one hour of sunlight a day, and three showers a week. Every minute we wait to take action, Julius is suffering. Every second that goes by brings Julius closer to being executed for a crime he didn’t commit. 

At the time of the crime for which he was convicted, Julius was a 19-year-old student athlete with a promising future, attending the University of Oklahoma on an academic scholarship. It is clear that Julius’ lawyer did not adequately defend him, and that explicit racial bias played a significant role in the process.. For example:

  • Eyewitnesses place Mr. Jones at his parents’ home at the time of the murder, miles away from the crime scene. 

  • Mr. Jones’ co-defendant admitted to being involved in the crime and is now free after testifying against Julius. He was heard bragging that he “set Julius up.” Mr. Jones’ co-defendant matches the only eyewitness description of the shooter based on the length of his hair.

  • Newly-discovered evidence shows that at least one juror harbored racial prejudice that influenced his vote to convict and sentence Mr. Jones to death. One juror reported telling the judge about another juror who said the trial was a waste of time and “they should just take the n***** out and shoot him behind the jail.” 

I learned about Julius’ story through Viola Davis’ docuseries “The Last Defense.” As a person of color and a person of faith, I knew that I couldn’t stand by while an innocent man was killed. I am an Oklahoma taxpayer and the idea that my money will be used to kill Julius makes me sick. 

Sign now with a click...Visit petition page...Every day an innocent man is forced to sit in solitary confinement, awaiting his death. Recently, a grassroots movement successfully pressured Texas to stay the execution of Rodney Reed, another black man sentenced to death for a crime he says he didn’t commit. If we can save Rodney, then Julius has a chance. Please join me and demand justice for Julius.

Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty

Despite many new barriers, our work continues to press forward as we gear up for legislative campaigns in several states come January. We hope you’ll continue to contact your lawmakers about pressing and needed criminal justice reforms in your state. While the national level may feel hopelessly divided, we continue to see significant bipartisan action at the state level – where conservatives are leading in the fight for individual liberty, limited government, and pro-life policies. Take heart!

As we head into election season, it’s important to remember the significant role local politicians play in the battle for criminal justice reform. District attorneys hold almost unilateral power in determining which cases move forward and what sentences are sought, and most are rarely challenged for re-election. Attorneys general command significant influence over the law. Elected sheriffs and mayors, who appoint chiefs of police, are vital figures in our system. State senators, state representatives, and governors determine which bills become law. And city councils play a big role in setting local policies.

These are elections that are often overlooked by the general public but that have far more influence on our day-to-day lives and laws. It’s imperative that we pay attention to and participate in these races.

Recently, I covered the ongoing corruption in the Breonna Taylor case out of Louisville, Kentucky. This case is a perfect example of the reasons why so many conservatives have lost faith in the justice system and why we believe in limited government in the first place. Government is prone to error, corruption, and inefficiency. This case highlights those aspects and, importantly, points to the reasons that the government should never be trusted with the power of life and death. You can read the full piece here.

“The Libertarian Christian Podcast”

We joined “The Libertarian Christian Podcast” to discuss the reasons both libertarians and Christians are turning against the death penalty. In this in-depth interview, we talk about theology, political science, and even philosophy. Join us for this deep conversation. You can stream the episode here.

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The Sustainable Action Network (SAN), A Don Lichterman non-profit organization dedicated to building a global community raising awareness of corruption, injustice and the need for action across a full range of issues impacting people and animal/wildlife welfare around the world, such as conservation, climate change, campaign law, lobbying, government action and rescue work. SAN’s vision is to create safer world, free from political, environmental, and social oppression, where all the inhabitants of Earth can live in harmony within their own natural environments. Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.