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End the death penalty

By Danny Katch | April 18, 2003 | Page 10

NEW YORK--More than 150 people came to the Riverside Church April 11 to hear powerful stories of resistance to the criminal injustice system. The meeting--sponsored by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP)--is part of a national speaking tour by Madison Hobley, one of four men recently pardoned from Illinois death row by former Gov. George Ryan.

Madison is one of the Death Row 10, a group of Black men tortured by Chicago police into giving false confessions. The Death Row 10, together with the CEDP, fought for years to expose their frame-ups.

CEDP member Joan Parkin spoke about how this fight played a major role in Ryan's decision. Madison and his sister, Robin Hobley, spoke about their experiences fighting for his freedom.

Other speakers included Yusef Salaam, one of five men falsely convicted in the infamous Central Park Jogger case; his mother Sharonne Salaam; and actor Ossie Davis, who stressed the importance of building grassroots organizations.

Speaker after speaker connected the war on Iraq and the war on the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system.

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