Monday, April 30, 2007


Getting Attention

So it doesn't matter what news station you tune into tonight, you should see a story on extending the Governor's moratorium! Two hours ago, TCASK held a press conference with Sister Helen Prejean, along with leaders of the Nashville faith community and family members of murder victims who oppose the death penalty. The group presented a letter to the Governor signed by nearly 200 faith leaders from all across Tennessee, calling on the Governor to extend his current moratorium until a complete study of Tennessee's death penalty system (which is broken according to the American Bar Association) can be completed.

Speaking at the press conference TCASK Executive Director Reverend Stacy Rector introduced the speakers and laid out the frightening facts about Tennessee's death penalty system - the lack of preservation of DNA evidence or avenues to bring meritorious claims of innocence to light for instance. Next Clemmie Greenlee, whose son of 29 was murdered in December of 2003, spoke calling on the Governor to not kill in her name! Baptist minister Mark Caldwell spoke about the universal belief in fairness, regardless of a person's belief in the morality of capital punishment, and Reverend Sonnye Dixon (a former president of the Nashville NAACP) told Governor Bredesen that he was praying for the Governor and prayed that he could have the power to stand against the racism in Tennessee's death penalty system, citing the large proportion of death row inmates of color that were tried by all white juries. Finally Sister Helen spoke flanked by leaders from the Catholic, Episcopal, United Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches.

It was a powerful reminder of the injustice in the death penalty system and the call for justice that is so strongly rooted throughout all faith traditions. And all four major television stations were present along with NPR, Metro Networks Radio, the Nashville Scene, and the Tennessee Register. The Tennessean conducted a phone interview with TCASK later.

So no one can say that the Governor doesn't know how people of faith around Tennessee feel! And by taking action here, you can let the Governor know how you feel to and really get his attention!

And check out pictures of the event (courtesy of TCASK official photographers, Harry and Karan Simpson) here.

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