Our Favorite Things: 2012 in Review
The LCADP Team has compiled a list of “Our Favorite Things” from 2012 to celebrate this Holiday Season. We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did!
Louisiana Juries Rejected the Death Penalty: Three out of four capital juries rejected death sentences in favor of life-without-parole sentences during capital trials this year. Three of those trials occurred in Caddo Parish.
Damon Thibodeaux was Exonerated: Damon became Louisiana’s ninth person to be found innocent of the crime which landed him on death row. He is the nation’s 141st exoneree, having spent 15 years on Louisiana’s death row. You can see Damon free here.
No New People Were Added to Louisiana’s Death Row: The only trial that ended in a death sentence this year was for a man previously sentenced to death. Robert Coleman won a retrial when the Louisiana Supreme Court found that prosecutors had illegally struck an African-American juror from the jury because of his race. Coleman was sentenced to death a second time.
Three New Staff Members Joined the LCADP Team: Sidney Garmon joined LCADP as our Outreach Coordinator; Beth Compa joined LCADP as our Policy Coordiantor; and Semaj Crumpton joined LCADP as our Outreach Assistant. You can read more about them on our Staff page.
We Developed Relationships with Our Allies: During a statewide conference hosted by the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, organizations and individuals from around the state who are working to end the death penalty were able to meet and learn from their allies.
Archbishop Aymond Led an Interfaith Prayer Service to End State Killings: With nearly 400 people in attendance, Archbishop Aymond led an inspiring line-up of faith leaders and advocates to implore our state to seek alternatives to the death penalty that better serve the needs of families of murder victims, our justice system and our local communities. More…
Calvin Duncan Took his Message to the National Stage: Speaking at Harvard Law School and University of Michigan Law School, LCADP’s Education Coordinator Calvin Duncan shared his message about the need for criminal justice reform in Louisiana. Calvin speaks from experience: he was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 28 1/2 years in Angola Prison.
“I Want to Serve” Group Files Brief at the US Supreme Court : With the support of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference, a group of clergy, excluded jurors and concerned citizens filed an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court to protest the exclusion of people of faith who do not support the death penalty from capital juries. www.iwanttoserve.org
Report on Louisiana’s Death Penalty Published: Though this study addresses the death penalty from a Roman Catholic perspective, its authors demonstrate the ineffectiveness and arbitrariness of our death penalty system as a public policy, including the ways it is unfairly administered across racial, social and economic lines. Download here.
Two People Were Removed from Louisiana’s Death Row: As a result of prosecutors’ failures to turn over exculpatory evidence in proceedings that later convinced Juan Smith’s jury that he should be sentenced to death, a judge threw out Mr. Smith’s death sentence. In an unrelated capital case, Anthony Scott was found to be intellectually disabled and, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s prohibition on the execution of mentally retarded persons, Mr. Scott was re-sentenced to life-without-parole.