Vigil against executions


Vigil against executions

SYDNEY — Australians Against Executions will hold a silent vigil in remembrance of 254 prisoners executed in the USA since 1970 and in protest against the US death penalty.

The vigil will take place on Saturday, November 30 at 10 a.m. outside the US consulate, on the steps of Electricity House, corner of Park and Castlereagh streets.

A wreath addressed to President Bush and bearing the names of 155 executed US prisoners will be presented to the US consul.

Bush recently introduced a bill into the US House of Representatives that would restrict appeals and speed up executions of death row prisoners.

Stephanie Wilkinson, organiser of Australians Against Executions, said that 2500 prisoners are currently on death row in 37 states. States with the worst record include Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Virginia.

Methods of execution include electrocution, lethal injection, the gas chamber and hanging.

She added, "In the USA it is only the poor who are executed. They cannot afford competent lawyers. The mentally retarded, the illiterate, blacks, Hispanics and juveniles as young as 17 are executed. They are sometimes innocent, convicted by all-white juries."

For more information contact Stephanie on (02) 621 2627 or Stephen on (02) 331 5986.