LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, prisoners serving life without the possibility of parole, in dozens of prisons all across the country, are mailing letters to their elected representatives and members of congress to explain the truth of the other death penalty. Thousands of letters will be written by prisoners, and their friends and families, in the effort to change hearts and minds.
The Other Death Penalty Project, a prisoner-led and organized group that has over 5,000 members nationwide, is leading this effort to end the practice of sentencing men and women to a long, slow death sentence, minus the minimal procedural safeguards guaranteed to all other death penalty defendants.
There are now upward of 41,000 prisoners sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, scattered throughout every state except Alaska. While support for the more obvious forms of the death penalty has waned in recent years, the vital conversation that needs to occur about the meaning of life without parole has not happened. Instead, legislatures have passed statutes that effectively expand the application of the death penalty by an order of magnitude without any serious debate.
The fact is life without the possibility of parole is the death penalty. It is not a reasonable alternative. It is not more humane than lethal injection. It is death at the hands of the state, death by lethal imprisonment.
The United States of America is the only industrialized nation on earth to sentence people to die in prison. It is the only nation, of any status, to sentence juveniles to life without the possibility of parole.
It is time to end all forms of the death penalty. It is time to do away with poorly conceived and unfairly applied laws like the felony murder rule that authorize life without parole sentences. It is time for all prisoners to have the chance to be paroled.
The Other Death Penalty Project is determined to lead the struggle to end the barbaric practice of sentencing human beings to lives of infinite meaninglessness and endless suffering.
It is time for the sentence of life without the possibility of parole to end.
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Kenneth E. Hartman
SOURCE The Other Death Penalty Project