Updated: Jan 14
This isn't the time to relax.
There are reasons to feel like things are changing. Decisive and incontrovertible victory was finally declared Monday for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris with the certification of Nevada and Wisconsin. And later this week, the House will be voting on legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana and expunge records nationwide.
But the measure, which offers so much promise for restorative justice to individuals and families devastated by the War on Drugs, is most likely dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate. Meanwhile, under a new rule filed by the Trump administration, death by firing squad, electrocution, and poison gas may now be used to carry out executions for federal death sentences in addition to lethal injection. The amendment to the Manner of Federal Executions Rule goes into effect on December 24th, Christmas Eve.
The Trump administration has already executed eight people in five months, including Orlando Hall, a Black man sentenced to die by an all-white jury. And, if her January 12 execution goes forward, Lisa Montgomery, described by advocates as “profoundly mentally ill” who suffered a life of abuse and sexual assault, will be the first woman executed by the federal government in 70 years. It has been more than a century since a federal execution was conducted during a lame-duck presidency, in 1889 during the outgoing administration of Grover Cleveland.
There is still much work to be done.
We ask you to join us because the Circle for Justice Innovations is the trusted philanthropic force working to end mass criminalization, mass incarceration, and state violence by building and strengthening the infrastructure of the grassroots criminal justice movement to fundamentally transform the U.S. criminal legal system. CJI has a 20-year track record of identifying and supporting movement champions led by those most impacted by the injustices of the current system, working in alliances across race, class, faith, gender, gender identity, sexuality, immigration status and age.
Join us in this struggle by making a donation to CJI today.
Yours in Solidarity,
Aleah Bacquie Vaughn
Executive Director, CJI Fund