On optimism and the death penalty

This evening I was delighted to learn that @TheOptimismClub had received a nomination for a “Shorty” award, after only 14 days in existence. “I don’t know what good it will do. Just one nomination”, said our sponsor, @favourini, “out of 700 for the ‘non-profit’ category.” I was touched. I’d nominated @innocenceblog (The Innocence Project) a few days earlier, happy to promote a little known but entirely deserving cause and lend to its prominence on the Twitter stage.

Then I reflected. Awards are wonderful. The promotional power of a nomination is a compelling reason to seek even more and to recruit further supporters to the cause in the process. But it’s early days for The Optimism Club. We have work to do. Instead of an award, it would be reward enough to see our efforts and the efforts of all those working alongside us to end capital punishment around the world paying off. And I’m nothing if not optimistic that if we take action we’ll be reaping all kinds of rewards in the months and years to come.

So take note! You read it here first!

Hurray for the end of the Death Penalty!

Hurray for the end of the Death Penalty!

  • In 2010, more countries will abandon the death penalty, Last year, Burundi and Togo took the world total number of abolitionist nations to 139.
  • In 2010, more States will reject the death penalty. Last year, New Mexico became the 15th of the United States to repeal it.
  • In 2010, Troy Davis will be exonerated and released from death row in Georgia, after serving over 20 years for a crime he did not commit. His evidentiary hearing will prove actual innocence in a case that makes history and challenges the constitution itself.
  • In  2010, Reprieve will successfully secure the lives and safety of several British and EU citizens suffering at the hand of injustice overseas.
  • Within the next decade, under pressure from its own constitutional lawyers, international human rights organisations and financial considerations, the USA will have abandoned the death penalty right across the board. Texas may well have seceded from the Federation of course (I speak wryly, with apologies to Stand Down Texas and the Texas Moratorium Network and all the other good folk campaigning hard in that State)
  • Within the next century, capital punishment, mutilation and torture will no longer be tolerated around the world. Some countries will have made steps towards addressing and overhauling criminal justice systems in progressive and significant terms. The planet will have significant challenges to face, but the society of mankind will have moved on.

With your help.

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