Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I am really getting excited about the "Uganda Journey of Hope.."

I am really getting excited about the "Uganda Journey of Hope".

So is Bill Babbitt. Bill has helped raise over $2000 to see this Journey take place.
Randy Gardner is excited about going too. Randy called the "Journey of Hope" office last year right after Christmas and told how his brother had been executed by firing squad five months earlier. Randy said he was busting at the gut to speak out against the death penalty with his firsthand experience. Randy will be having that chance in Africa.
Bill Babbitt has been speaking out about his brother Manny’s execution for many years.
These two brothers will be sharing the torture that their families went through because of state sanctioned

Charity Lee, called the "Journey of Hope" office a few months ago and told me about a non-profit organization she had started, called the ELLA Foundation, named after her four year old daughter Ella, who was killed by her 13 year-old brother.
Charity has seen crime from both sides of the fence. She has determined that Love conquers all. She told me she was looking for opportunities to share that love, through speaking to the people.

About three monthes ago, Mpagi Edward Edmary asked me if the "Journey of Hope" could come to Uganda and help him in his lonely efforts for abolition.
My friend Dirk Sisson opened a door, others doors followed suit and in five short days the "Journey of Hope...from Violence to Healing" is heading for Uganda.
The timing was set to coincide with the 9th annual World Day Against the Death Penalty on October 10.
We will leave for Uganda on October the 2nd and will speak in middle-, highschool and college classes.
We will be speaking in rallies, visiting the men`s death row, the women`s prison and family members of death row inmates.
Since Edward was exonerated from Uganda`s death row, he has spent his time working  to build a school and an orphanage for the childeren whose parents are in prison, and therefore were forced to leave school when their family member was incarcerated.
For more information on Edward and his project, please go to "Dream One World"

When Maria Donatelli, Coordinator for the World Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty was made aware that the "Journey of Hope" was going to be in Uganda during the World Day, she invited us to attend a two day conference sponsered by the WCADP and "Hands Off Cain" in Kigali, Rwanda, on October 12 to 14.
From Rwanda we will be heading to Nairobi, Kenya for some meetings before returning to the U.S. on October the 19th.
I will try to make frequent posts on this blog about our Journey...
Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts.

In Love and Peace,


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Troy Davis Pledge...

Hello friends,

As President of the Journey of Hope...from Violence to Healing I ask everyone one our supporters to
take the Troy Davis pledge. I thank God for the leadership Ben Jealous has shown us in moving forward
to keep his promises to Troy. Listen to what Ben is saying to us.
"Last week, the country watched as a man was executed in a case where there was too much doubt.
Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a white police officer over 20 years ago. No murder weapon
was ever found, no DNA evidence linked Troy to the crime, and seven of the nine witnesses who
testified recanted their statements.

Join me in pledging to end the death penalty in the United States:

If one innocent person can be killed under the death penalty, I cannot support it. Last week, Troy
Davis’ death was a horrific tragedy and I wanted to do whatever I could to stop the injustice. Right
now the NAACP is giving people a way to unite under a pledge that works to end the death penalty.
Join me in fighting today.'
Ben Jealous wants us to unite under this pledge and I fully support him. Thank you NAACP for taking
such a gallant stand.

The Journey of Hope…from Violence to Healing applauds you. We offer our assistance in the fight with
our weapons of Love and compassion.

We are Troy Davis,

Love and Peace,


Friday, 23 September 2011

The roller coaster ride is over for Troy Davis and his family..

The roller Coaster ride is over for Troy Davis and his family.

The ride came to a crashing end.
Troy Davis RIP

I never thought that the state of Georgia would execute Troy. Too many signs pointed to his innocence.
After 4 execution dates the state of Georgia finally go its revenge. I believe that Troy’s execution will be
the beginning of the end for the death penalty worldwide. Never in my 25 years as an abolitionist have
I seen anything like this case. National cable news outlets interviewed person after person for hours
on Wednesday, each speaking eloquently as to why this execution was wrong. Millions of people from
around the world supported a stay for Troy and millions more got a real education about the failure
of the death penalty system. We have said for years that the way to abolition is education, education,
education. The world got a great education as a result of Troy’s case.

More people have joined the campaign to abolish the death penalty. Even people who support the
death penalty don’t want the wrong person executed. As long as human beings make the decision
as to who lives and dies, we are going to make mistakes. I have never seen people around the world
unite on this issue as they have in Troy’s case. The roller coaster ride is over for Troy and his family. I
hope that the roller coaster will be destroyed because of the unjust act that just took place in Georgia.

Please support organizations like the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP), The National
Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP), Murder Victims Families for Human Rights (MVFHR) and
the Journey of Hope…from Violence to Healing as we try to eradicate this injustice from our society.

Bill Pelke

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Execution bigger than just Troy R. Halperin

Execution bigger than just Troy Davis

Troy Davis was executed late Wednesday night after one of the most contested and controversial death-penalty cases in the country's history. The SMU and local community held a vigil in protest of his execution and to honor Davis' life.

"I was very glad we had a vigil here last night for Troy Davis," Dr. Rick Halperin, the director of SMU's human rights program, said. "I wish we would have one every night that someone in this country is executed."
However, Halperin believes that the Troy Davis case was outrageous on more levels that just his potential innocence.

"The media consumption with the Troy Davis case was equally outrageous," Halperin said. "Don't get me wrong it merited a great deal of attention, but I bemoan the fact that there was another execution here in Texas last night that received no attention at all."
Lawrence Brewer, a white supremacist, was executed Wednesday night in Texas for the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., a black man, in 1998.

According to Halperin, Ross Byrd, James' son, had forgiven Brewer and protested his execution.
"Where was the media on that case?" Halperin said. "This was a story about forgiveness, compassion and redemption and the murder was equally as horrific."
Another execution is scheduled for tonight in Alabama. Derrick Mason is accused of shooting 25-year-old Angela Cagle in the face during an early morning robbery.
"It's not right to out one case the way the media did on Troy Davis," Halperin said. "Every case needs media attention."

To Halperin, these cases are also a measure of the value of human life in America.
"There were a million signatures garnered across the world last night to stop the execution of Troy Davis," Halperin said. "He has the same value as a human being as Mr. Mason, Mr. Brewer and everyone else condemned or not. Where are the million signatures for Mr. Mason?"
Halperin also believes these executions are a reflection of the darkness of our country. He thinks that continuing the death penalty will lead to further immoral and criminal government behavior.

"The system failed Mr. Davis and it failed this country," Halperin said. "It will fail Mr. Mason tonight and it will fail this country again."

(sources:  SMU Daily Campus & Associated Press)

The Events from last night, by R. Halperin

I would like to add that what happened last night was a tragedy in every way
possible; it was a tragedy for the family of Mr. MacPhail, and equally for
Martina and her family.

It was a tragedy, and in my opinion, a disgrace, that NO major abolitionist
organization made any / much mention of the execution here in Texas;
Lawrence Brewer, a self-avowed white supremacist, was executed for teh
horrific 1998 hate crime truck-dragging death of James Byrd.....NOWHERE was
there any mention of the fact that James' son, Ross Byrd, was opposed to Mr.
Brewer's execution, and has been since his father's tragic death.
I can applaud Amnesty for a heavy focus on Troy's case, because it certainly
merited the attention.  But so do all the others.  The death penalty is not
a matter of inmates who may be innocent; it is a matter of principle
stopping our headlong rush into the abyss of human rights violations and

I mourn for Martina and her family....I mourn for the MacPhail family....I
mourn for the Byrd family....I mourn for the family of Angela Cagle...Angela
Cagle?  she was murdered in Alabama in 1994 by Derrick Mason, who faces
execution there tonight....where is the national fuss about him????
This struggle goes on until this country (and indeed the world) reach a
point of enlightenment so that governments stop killing.

--peace to all--


Temporary delay for Troy...

The execution of Troy Davis was delayed temporarily by the US supreme court on Wednesday night, in a dramatic intervention just as he was due to be put to death by lethal injection.

As the first news came in at the Jackson prison that houses death row, a huge cheer erupted from a crowd of more than 500 protesters that had amassed on the other side of the road.

Davis's supporters kissed each other and threw placards which read "Not in my name" into the air.

But the jubilation was short-lived. Talk of a reprieve from the US supreme court quickly gave way to rumours of a stay, and finally the realisation that the court had only ordered a temporary delay as it considered the matter. The mood then grew more sombre as the waiting game that has now been going on for years with Davis resumed.

Bill Pelke

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Roller Coaster Ride

The Roller Coaster Ride

The state of Georgia is set to execute Troy Davis in about 4 hours. He has had stays before
but this time it looks like only a miracle will save. My thoughts and prayers are with Troy at
this time, but even foremost is my prayers for Troy’s family.

I have met Troy’s family and been to their home. I have known his sister Martina since the
early nineties. Martina has given years of her life to save her brother’s life. She is an angel
sent from God to help Troy and the countless number of others through her volunteer work
with Amnesty International.
Martina has been dealing with cancer for a number of years but nonetheless has labored
gallantly for the cause of human rights.

What is wrong with the State of Georgia? To kill someone when there is such a great
question of innocence is immoral. What Martina and her family are going through is cruel
and unusual punishment. Georgia on my mind!! Georgia will receive a black eye throughout
the human rights world that no state, not even Texas, has seen before.

Wake up Georgia, you have 4 hours to come to your senses and bring this crazy roller coaster
ride to a proper ending.

Bill Pelke President
Journey of Hope…from Violence to Healing