Saturday, 7 April 2007



Defense attorney Barry Scheck and former Texas DA join exonerated
death row prisoners

PHILADELPHIA – As the legislatively appointed Pennsylvania Innocence
Commission begins its study of wrongful convictions in the state, 20 innocent men
who spent a combined 150 years on death rows around the nation for crimes they
did not commit will join renowned criminal defense attorney Barry Scheck and
former Texas prosecutor Sam Millsap on Friday, April 13, to announce a
campaign that aims to halt executions in Pennsylvania. The news conference, which
will begin at 2 p.m. near the Liberty Bell, is organized by Witness to
Innocence, a national organization founded by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sister
Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking .

Witness to Innocence, spearheaded by exonerated ex-death row prisoners and
their families, is actively engaged in the struggle to end the death penalty
in the United States. During the event, the exonerated men will stage a
dramatic signing of their own "Declaration of Innocence" across the street from
Independence Hall.

Scheck, co-director of The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo
School of Law in New York City, will address the continuing wrongful convictions
crisis in America. Scheck and his colleagues at The Innocence Project have
worked to free more than 190 people in the United States, including 14 who
were at one time sentenced to death. Former San Antonio District Attorney Sam
Millsap, who once proclaimed himself a "lifelong supporter of the death
penalty," will discuss why he now opposes capital punishment. Millsap says he
now opposes the death penalty in large part because of the case of Ruben Cantu
– a man sentenced to death while Millsap was D.A. – who is now widely
believed to have been innocent. Cantu was executed in 1993.

Pennsylvania has exonerated seven death row prisoners since 1982, including
four who were sentenced to death in Philadelphia. The city has exonerated
more death row prisoners than the state has executed since it reinstated the
death penalty in 1978. Pennsylvania has the fourth largest death row in the
nation, with more than 220 prisoners awaiting execution. Philadelphia has
been cited repeatedly for its profound discrimination against the poor and
people of color in its death sentencing practices.

WHO: 20 exonerated death row prisoners and their families Barry
Scheck, co-founder of The Innocence Project & Sam Millsap, former Texas

WHAT: Launch of Pennsylvania Moratorium Coalition

WHEN: Friday, April 13, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Lawn adjacent to Independence Visitors Center
(north of Market Street between 5 th & 6th streets)

1 comment:

San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney said...

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