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GACADP News

Archbishop Hartmayer opposes scheduled execution

The Atlanta archbishop is opposing the execution of a man who has been on death row for 46 years.

New Vigil Information – Execution Date Set for Virgil Presnell Jr.

The state of Georgia announced that Virgil Presnell Jr. is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, May 17, at 7:00 p.m.

Webinar – Restorative Justice in the Criminal Legal System

This lunch hour presentation will look at Catholic social doctrine and restorative justice, as well as the very real impact restorative approaches can have in our criminal legal system.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty

On January 25th, Georgia Catholics Against the Death Penalty hosted a webinar entitled “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty.” The webinar featured Brian Stull, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project and lead counsel on the Young vs. Georgia case, a case which may be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court and seeks to challenge Georgia’s unreasonably high burden of proving intellectual disability. Additional panelists include Maggie Rousseau (Director of Disabilities Ministry) and Jayna Hoffacker (Associate Director of Justice and Peace Ministries) of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, and Frank Mulcahy, Executive Director of the Georgia Catholic Conference.

We invite you to watch a replay of the webinar here:

The slides used during the presentation can be downloaded here.

As always, we appreciate your feedback. If you participated in the webinar online, or watched the replay, please take a moment to fill out a short evaluation and let us know what you thought of the webinar.

Webinar – Not in Our Name: The Road to Abolishing the Death Penalty in Georgia

As we look toward the start of the Georgia General Assembly’s 2022 Session in January, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and Georgia Catholics Against the Death Penalty invite you to join us as we discuss the many roads to abolition and how you can join the movement to end the death penalty in our state.

Prayer Service – World Day Against the Death Penalty

On this 19th World Day Against the Death Penalty, please join Georgia Catholics Against the Death Penalty and the Archdiocese of Atlanta for prayer and reflection on our Gospel call to promote mercy and justice.

GACADP News

Archbishop Hartmayer Supports House Bill 485

Archbishop Hartmayer released a statement in support of House Bill 485.

Execution Date Set for Donnie Lance

Just hours after sparing Jimmy Meders, the state of Georgia announced that Donnie Lance is scheduled to be executed at 7 PM on January 29th, 2019. Should the Board of Pardons and Paroles deny his request for clemency, please plan to join with Georgians of all faiths at one of the vigil sites below. In the meantime, please keep Donnie, his family and friends, and the family and friends of Joy Lance and Dwight Wood, the victims, in your prayers.

Vigils for Donnie Lance

Americus
Time: 7 PM
Location: 1324 GA Hwy 49 South, Americus, GA 31719
Contact: Elizabeth Dede
Phone #: 229-591-0114
Email: elizabeth@koinoniafarm.org

Athens
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: UGA Arch on East Broad Street
Contact: Robbie Buller
Phone #: 706-338-4572
Email: robbie@jubileepartners.org

Atlanta-State Capitol
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 206 Washington St, Atlanta, GA 30334
Contact: Peggy Hendrix
Phone #: 404-771-8940
Email: peggyhendrix2000@yahoo.com

Augusta-Augusta Judicial Center
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 735 James Brown Blvd, Augusta, GA 30901
Contact: Ayman Fadal
Phone #: 706-284-3002
Email: afadel97@gmail.com

Clarkesville-Courthouse (Near the Gazebo)
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 226 Grant St, Clarkesville, GA 30523
Contact: Anne Hall
Phone #: 706-754-7011
Email: annehall987@gmail.com

Columbus-Columbus Consolidated Government Center
Time: 6 PM
Location: 100 10th St, Columbus, GA 31901
Contact: Edward Dubose
Phone #: 706-464-8539
Email: edubose252@aol.com

Dawson
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Hwy 520 & Hwy 82
Contact: Rev. Holley
Phone #: 229-407-0101
Email: tholley@mediacombb.net

Decatur-Old Courthouse on the Square (Ponce Side)
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 101 E Court Square, Decatur, GA 30030
Contact: Andrew Johnson
Email: ahjohnson113@gmail.com

Jackson-GA Diagnostic and Classification Prison (Death Row)
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 2978 GA-36, Jackson, GA 30283
Contact: Mary Catherine Johnson
Phone #: 404-273-0621
Email: mcjohnson78@yahoo.com

Johns Creek-St. Brigid Catholic Church
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 3400 Old Alabama Rd, Johns Creek, GA 30022
Contact: Cathy Schneider
Phone #: 502-592-9123
Email: cathyschneider123@gmail.com

Macon-City Hall
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 700 Poplar St, Macon, GA 31201
Contact: Kellie Divis
Email: kjdivis@gmail.com

Marietta-Cobb County Courthouse (On the Square)
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 12 E Park Square, Marietta, GA 30090 (on the corner of Cherokee & Roswell Street)
Contact: Debby Freel
Email: debbyfreel@gmail.com

Savannah-City Hall
Time: 5 PM
Location: 2 E Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401 (Corner of E Bay & Bull Street)
Contact: Sister Jackie Griffith
Phone #: 912-484-8378
Email: jackiegriffith@comcast.net

56% of Georgians Favor Replacing the Death Penalty

In a poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy from December 19 through December 23, 2019, 56% of Georgia voters favored replacing the death penalty with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. 33% were opposed while 11% were undecided. The margin for error in the poll was +- 4 percentage points.

Respondents were asked:

Because of the constitutionally-mandated appeals, additional trials and associated housing expenses, the death penalty costs Georgia taxpayers substantially more than sentencing prisoners to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Additionally, death penalty cases can drag on for more than a decade, forcing victims’ families to endure years of uncertainty and waiting. In contrast, a sentence of life in prison without parole would offer swift and certain justice that allows these families to move on with the healing process.

Given this, would you support or oppose replacing the death penalty in Georgia with a life sentence without parole?

The results paint a clear picture – faced with an expensive and error-prone system, a majority of Georgians are in favor of eliminating the death penalty and redirecting needed money to solving other crimes, investing in education to prevent crime, and providing more services to victims and their families.

The results hold true across the entire state, with a majority in each region in favor of replacement:

Region Support Oppose Undecided
Atlanta Metro61%27%12%
North Georgia46%43%11%
Central Georgia51%40%9%
South Georgia52%38%10%

The results were similar across age ranges, with a higher number of those under 50 favoring replacing the death penalty:

Women more strongly favor replacement, though a majority of men are in support:

Download the full survey results

Execution Date Set for Jimmy Meders

The State of Georgia has scheduled the execution of Jimmy Meders for January 16th, 2020 at 7 PM. If carried out, this would be the first person put to death in Georgia this year. Should a stay not be granted, and If you are able, please consider joining with Georgians of all faiths at one of the vigils below.

Regardless, please keep Mr. Meders, his family and friends, and the family and friends of Don Anderson, the victim, in your prayers.

Vigils for Jimmy Meders

Americus
Time: 7 PM
Location: 1324 GA Hwy 49 South, Americus, GA 31719
Contact: Elizabeth Dede
Phone #: 229-591-0114
Email: elizabeth@koinoniafarm.org

Athens
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: UGA Arch on East Broad Street
Contact: Robbie Buller
Phone #: 706-338-4572
Email: robbie@jubileepartners.org

Atlanta-State Capitol
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 206 Washington St, Atlanta, GA 30334
Contact: Peggy Hendrix
Phone #: 404-771-8940
Email: peggyhendrix2000@yahoo.com

Augusta-Augusta Judicial Center
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 735 James Brown Blvd, Augusta, GA 30901
Contact: Ayman Fadal
Phone #: 706-284-3002
Email: afadel97@gmail.com

Clarkesville-Courthouse (Near the Gazebo)
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 226 Grant St, Clarkesville, GA 30523
Contact: Anne Hall
Phone #: 706-754-7011
Email: annehall987@gmail.com

Columbus-Columbus Consolidated Government Center
Time: 6 PM
Location: 100 10th St, Columbus, GA 31901
Contact: Edward Dubose
Phone #: 706-464-8539
Email: edubose252@aol.com

Dawson
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Hwy 520 & Hwy 82
Contact: Rev. Holley
Phone #: 229-407-0101
Email: tholley@mediacombb.net

Decatur-Old Courthouse on the Square (Ponce Side)
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 101 E Court Square, Decatur, GA 30030
Contact: Andrew Johnson
Email: ahjohnson113@gmail.com

Jackson-GA Diagnostic and Classification Prison (Death Row)
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 2978 GA-36, Jackson, GA 30283
Contact: Mary Catherine Johnson
Phone #: 404-273-0621
Email: mcjohnson78@yahoo.com

Johns Creek-St. Brigid Catholic Church
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 3400 Old Alabama Rd, Johns Creek, GA 30022
Contact: Cathy Schneider
Phone #: 502-592-9123
Email: cathyschneider123@gmail.com

Macon-City Hall
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 700 Poplar St, Macon, GA 31201
Contact: Kellie Divis
Email: kjdivis@gmail.com

Marietta-Cobb County Courthouse (On the Square)
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 12 E Park Square, Marietta, GA 30090 (on the corner of Cherokee & Roswell Street)
Contact: Debby Freel
Email: debbyfreel@gmail.com

Savannah-City Hall
Time: 5 PM
Location: 2 E Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401 (Corner of E Bay & Bull Street)
Contact: Sister Jackie Griffith
Phone #: 912-484-8378
Email: jackiegriffith@comcast.net