Reprieve USA

Reprieve (US) is the United States component of an international charity dedicated to assisting in the provision of effective legal representation and humanitarian assistance to impoverished people facing the death penalty at the hands of the state; to producing and publishing information about the use of the death penalty and to raising awareness more generally concerning human rights. It is premised on the belief that capital punishment is an outdated relic in clear violation of contemporary standards of decency and human rights norms … (about 1/2).

Projects; Press; Resources; Volunteers; Donations;
Reprieve Au, PO Box 4296, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia; Reprieve NL, e-mail; Reprieve UK, PO Box 52742, London EC4P 4WS, UK; Other Partners;
Address: Reprieve US, 636 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA;

About 2/2: … Reprieve (US) is focused on using fresh and creative approaches to better inform consensus views on the death penalty as well as providing direct services to people facing capital punishment.  

Since its inception, Reprieve (US) has recruited and placed nearly 100 international volunteer lawyers, students, and other concerned individuals to work at death penalty defense organizations through out the deep south and the “death belt.” In every instance, these volunteers have made valuable and immediate contributions to the cases of poor people facing the death penalty. Further, they have borne witness to a cold, unfair, and heartless system and bring their first-hand, personal experiences back home with them, around the world, raising international awareness of human rights violations in the United States.

Through its volunteer program, and in collaborating with other human rights groups, arts and cultural organizations, faith-based organizations, and other interested groups and individuals, Reprieve (US) seeks to create a broad-based cultural movement highlighting the inhumanity of the death penalty. This is premised on the view that an honest discussion of the death penalty in the US, detailing the racism inherent in the system, the arbitrariness of its imposition, and the human toll it takes on everyone involved, from the jurors to the victims, can only lead to it being seen as a serious human rights violation, as has occurred in the rest of the developed world. In raising awareness about the death penalty Reprieve does not seek to minimize either the seriousness or impact of the crimes that many of those on death row have committed but instead to emphasize the fundamental nature of human rights and human dignity for all people.

Reprieve (US) was founded in 2001 by anti-death penalty lawyers and activists in New Orleans, Louisiana, two years after Reprieve UK, based in London, England, was founded in 1999 by human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith. Since its formation, Reprieve (US) has been an all volunteer organization staffed by full time death penalty attorneys working in the trenches to serve people facing the death penalty. Reprieve (US)’s operating expenses have derived exclusively from individual charitable donations by people concerned with the use of the death penalty in the deep south as well as in kind donations from its partner organizations in the Justice Center, which provides office space for Reprieve (US).

In addition to the volunteer program, Reprieve (US)’s work has focused on numerous projects focusing on serving individual death row prisoners. Reprieve (US) has funded the appeal and investigation for a Texas death row prisoner who would have otherwise been left to his own resources. Reprieve (US) has helped fund and has co-produced a documentary about the death row exoneration of Ryan Matthews, the last juvenile exonerated from death row before the United States Supreme Court abolished the use of the juvenile death penalty. Working with partner organizations, Reprieve (US) has conducted the first-ever study of the role of racism in the selection of death penalty jurors in Louisiana and was integral in providing researchers for a broad study of the Louisiana indigent defense system.

Reprieve (US) is currently seeking volunteers and donations to expand on each of these projects and to initiate additional projects including a books to prisoners project for death row inmates across the country and a complete cultural catalogue and bibliography of art and culture concerning the death penalty.

Link: Le secret de Guantánamo, par Thierry Meyssan, 28 octobre 2009.

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