TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — With federal executions slated to resume this week, anti-death penalty advocates are continuing their efforts towards the abolishment of the death penalty.
In 2020, 10 people were executed for crimes on the federal level. The first execution of 2021 is scheduled for January 12 at the Terre Haute Federal Prison. Lisa Montgomery would be the first federal execution of a woman since the 1950’s.
The Death Penalty Action organization was founded in 2017 as they felt executions could possibly start up again. Abraham Bonowitz, director of the Death Penalty Action, has been involved in this kind of work for over 30 years.
The group believes there is a form of punishment that suffices just as well and that is life-imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
“It’s all so arbitrary. We believe we can be safe from dangerous offenders and hold them accountable without executions,” said Bonowitz. “That’s what we do the vast majority of the time anyways, so why not just do it with all the people who are eligible for the ultimate punishment.”
The Death Penalty Action is working diligently to put a stop to these executions as they do not believe the government should have this power.
Those working to abolish the death penalty feel things could change once President-Elect Joe Biden takes office as he has spoken out against executions.
“We do know that he has always been against federal executions,” said Sylvester Edwards, President of Terre Haute NAACP. “Just because of the fact we know that this has not stopped various organizations from sending petitions.”
Cory Johnson is scheduled to be executed on January 14 with Dustin Higgs scheduled for the following day.
“We have been trying to raise these issues that are bringing more death more suffering more pandemic to your community,” Bonowitz.