US abolitionists are training for the long run
Recognizing that in 2009, more states have tried to remove the death penalty in their legislation than ever before, that organizations that have never been so well financed, supported and staffed and finally that media coverage has never been more important, the conference sought to encourage this trend by developing new arguments and new partnerships, particularly with conservatives and law enforcement officers.
The recent abolition laws in New Jersey and New Mexico were cited as examples and precursors of a long-term trend towards abolition in the country. At the gala dinner, Gail Chasey, member of New Mexico legislature and promoter of the bill to abolish the death penalty adopted in 2009, was awarded the Abolitionist of the year prize (watch extracts from her acceptance speech below).
The World Coalition was represented by most of its US members and by the campaign officer. A workshop and a caucus were dedicated to the World Coalition during the two days of the conference. It was an important meeting as the United States takes a place of honour in 2010. It will be the main theme of the World Day, and a report will be published on that occasion.