Tuesday, 16 January 2007
15 January 2007
For immediate release
RICK HALPERIN TO APPEAL FOR END OF DEATH PENALTY DURING UTAH VIGIL
OGDEN, UT - Dr. Rick Halperin will call for an
end to the death penalty in Utah during a vigil
at the Utah State Prison in Draper January
20. Halperin is chairman of the board of directors of Amnesty International.
Halperin told local supporters, "My entire life
has been spent defending and advocating the idea
that there is no such thing as a lesser person,
and that all persons, regardless of whatever they
have done, still have and remain worthy of their
inherent dignity and must not, for any reason, be
tortured or be put to death."
Halperin said, "As a member of the history
department at Southern Methodist University [in
Dallas, Texas], I have been able to offer
graduate and undergraduate courses in human
rights. Many of my students are preparing for
law school and are just now coming to grapple
with ideas of law, human rights, justice,
responsibility, victims and perpetrators, and, impunity and reconciliation."
"Since 1972, I have been actively involved in
the effort and struggle to abolish the death
penalty in the United States. I work with many
anti-death penalty (abolitionist) organizations,
capital defense attorneys, representatives of
various communities of faith, newspaper editorial
boards, victims' rights groups, members of the
families of the condemned, and many death row inmates throughout the country."
The vigil will start at 2 PM at the Utah State
Prison at Draper to mark the 30th anniversary of
the execution of Gary Gilmore. Gilmore was the
first person executed in the United States after
reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. His
victims were Ben Bushnell and Max Jensen.
"Help us end the death penalty," asks Salt Lake
City coordinator James Griner. "Participants at
the vigil will remember the families of victims
of violence, those who have been executed in Utah and their families."
The prison is located about 20 miles south of
Salt Lake City alongside Interstate 15.
Death penalty fact sheets:
Utah State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator,
Rick Halperin, Ph. D.