Community news items related to capital punishment.

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.

HB485

House Bill 485 Would Repeal the Death Penalty

In a bit of good news, a bipartisan group of Georgia House members have introduced House Bill 485 – a bill that would repeal the death penalty in Georgia.

You can read the details of the legislation here: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/59757.

We have been in touch with the sponsors of the bill.  Over the coming days we will be updating our website and social media and will be sharing more information about how we can work together to ensure this bill has a chance at a hearing.

Please stay tuned!

In the meantime, please follow us on Facebook or encourage others to sign up for our mailing list.

It will take a huge effort of committed Catholics to help make this law become a reality.

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

Clemency Granted to Jimmy Meders

Six hours shy of his execution, Jimmy Meders was granted clemency by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. His sentence was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole. As a result of this wonderful news, all vigils for his execution were cancelled.

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

Marion Wilson

Clemency Denied for Marion Wilson

The State of Georgia has scheduled the execution of Marion Wilson for June 20th, 2019 at 7 PM. If carried out, this would be the second person executed h in Georgia this year. On Thursday, June 20th, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Mr. Wilson’s petition for clemency. If you are able, please consider joining Georgians of all faiths at one of the vigil sites listed below. Regardless, please keep the friends and family of Mr. Wilson and Donovan Corey Parks, the victim, in your prayers.

Vigil sites for Marion Wilson

Americus
7 pm, 1324 GA Hwy 49 South
Contact: Elizabeth Dede – (229)-591-0114

Athens
6:30 pm, UGA Arch on E. Broad St.
Contact: Robbie Buller (706)-338-4572

Atlanta
6:30 pm, State Capitol, 206 Washington St.
Contact: Peggy Hendrix 404-771-8940

Augusta
6:30 pm, Augusta Judicial Center, 735 James Brown Blvd
Contact: Ayman Fadal 706-284-3002

Clarkesville
6:30 PM, Clarkesville Courthouse near the gazebo
226 Grant St, Clarkesville, GA 30523
Contact: Anne Hall 706-754-7011

Columbus
6 pm, Columbus Consolidated Government Center
100 10th St. Columbus, GA 31901
Contact: Edward Dubose 706-464-8539

Decatur
6:30 pm, Old Courthouse on the Square (Ponce side)
Contact: Andrew Johnson ahjohnson113@gmail.com

Jackson
6:30 pm, Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison
Contact: Mary Catherine Johnson 404-273-0621

Johns Creek
6:30 pm, St. Brigid Catholic Church
3400 Old Alabama Road, Johns Creek, GA 30022
Contact: Cathy Schneider 502-592-9123

Macon
6:30 pm, Macon City Hall
700 Poplar St. Macon, GA 31201
Contact: Suzanne Hobby-Shippen 478-207-7065

Marietta
6:30 PM, Cobb County Courthouse (Cherokee St./Roswell St.)
Contact: Eileen Perkins 678-628-5082

Savannah
5 pm, City Hall at Bay St. and Bull St.
Contact: Sister Jackie Griffith 912-484-8378

New Hampshire Abolishes Capital Punishment

The New Hampshire State Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of a death penalty repeal bill today. This allows the repeal to become law and makes New Hampshire the 21st state to abolish capital punishment in the United States. We join the people of New Hampshire in celebrating this victory for the dignity of all human life.