August 19, 2013 / BY LYLA BUGARA National tour of Mumia Abu Jamal documentary continues

After an initial debut in February, the documentary Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary continues to play across the country, inciting important conversations and organizing efforts along the way. The film honors Mumia's prolific activism and scholarship, which he has continued to produce despite serving three decades in solitary confinement after a trial Amnesty International described as "manifestly unfair and failed to meet international fair trial standards."

Previous films have focused largely on the highly contested details of his conviction, but this latest piece takes a different path and showcases Mumia as an individual, family member, prolific journalist, and radical activist. The film's national tour has re-ignited public awareness of his continued imprisonment at a time when the recently launched "Mumia free in 4!" campaign is kicking the movement for his ultimate release is into high gear.

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May 03, 2013 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS Governor Martin O'Malley signs bill repealing the death penalty in Maryland

On Thursday, Governor Martin O'Malley signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in Maryland. The bill was passed by the General Assembly in March after having languished in the Senate Judiciary Committee for years — failing to reach the floor in 10 of the previous 12 sessions.

The bill finally reached the floor thanks in part to pressure from ColorOfChange members and coalition partners. The heated floor debate in both chambers marked the first time since the practice was reinstated in 1978 that either the House or the Senate deliberated the death penalty.

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April 16, 2013 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS Delaware nears death penalty abolition

UPDATE: (4/24/13) The Delaware House Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on Senate Bill 19 today. You can follow the hearings by watching the hashtag #DERepeal for tweets from our coalition partners.

Delaware recently took a huge step toward becoming the 19th state in the country to abolish the death penalty. Just before the legislature's spring recess, the Delaware Senate passed SB19, which would repeal capital punishment in the state. Lawmakers returned to Dover today, and the House of Representatives is expected to begin deliberations on the bill shortly. Thus far, Governor Jack Markell has been silent on his position.

Across the country, race has been shown to be a determining factor in whether a defendant receives the death penalty, but in Delaware the problem is particularly pronounced. Delaware has sentenced Black defendants to death for the murder of white victims at a higher rate than South Carolina and Georgia combined. 

Read the email we sent to our Delaware ColorOfChange members after the jump, and if you're a Delaware resident, please urge the state House and Gov. Markell to repeal the death penalty.

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March 15, 2013 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS VICTORY: Maryland General Assembly votes to repeal the death penalty!

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates voted 82 to 56 to repeal the death penalty. This historic vote comes after the first full chamber deliberation of the death penalty since it was reinstated in 1978.

The Maryland ColorOfChange community generated more than 1,000 petition signatures and dozens of calls urging legislators to end capital punishment in the state.

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March 11, 2013 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS Maryland takes crucial step towards repealing the death penalty

UPDATE: On Friday, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to repeal the death penalty without amendments by a vote of 14-8. The bill is expected to be debated by the full House starting this week. Please take a moment to call your delegates and tell them you support repealing the death penalty without amendments.

Earlier last week, the campaign to end the death penalty cleared a major hurdle when the Senate voted 27-20 in favor of a bill repealing this inhumane punishment. The Senate and Senate President Mike Miller blocked repeal efforts in 10 of the last 12 sessions. The bill now moves on to the House of Delegates. Governor O'Malley is ready to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.

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February 22, 2013 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee approves bill to repeal death penalty

On Thursday night, the Maryland Senate Judical Proceedings (JPR) Committee voted 6-5 in favor of approving SB276— the bill that would repeal the death penalty. Previous repeal bills have failed to get out of the JPR committee in 10 of the last 12 General Assembly sessions. Thanks in part to the hard work of Maryland ColorOfChange members making calls, sending tweets and signing a petition in support of the bill, Maryland is closer to repealing the death penalty than it has been in 30 years.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for floor debate. It is crucial that the bill pass the Senate without additional amendments. Please take a moment and call your Senator to tell them you support the death penalty repeal bill without any further amendments.

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February 14, 2013 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS Maryland General Assembly holds hearings today on death penalty repeal bill

Today, both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly are holding hearings on the bill to repeal the death penalty. ColorOfChange submitted written testimony including the names and comments of nearly one thousand Maryland members who signed our petition urging repeal.

Leading the testimony will be Governor Martin O'Malley, a staunch supporter of repeal. He will be joined on a panel by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, NAACP President Ben Jealous, and the bill's chief sponsors — Senator Lisa Gladden and Delegate Sandy Rosenberg in their respective chambers.

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February 06, 2013 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS Maryland ColorOfChange members rally with victim's families to repeal the death penalty

Two weeks ago, Maryland ColorOfChange members joined families of murder victims and civil rights organizations for a rally in Annapolis to repeal the death penalty. The rally follows a recent victory — Senate President Mike Miller, finally put aside his personal opposition and promised a full Senate vote on the bill to repeal the death penalty, SB0276.

Watch the clip above from the rally and then add your voice to our petition to repeal the death penalty in Maryland. 

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January 14, 2013 / BY AIMÉE CASTENELL Maryland poised for death penalty repeal in 2013

Last Wednesday, the Maryland General Assembly began its 2013 session. One major issue that the General Assembly may take on this session is a bill to repeal the death penalty. It's been a long road for advocates of a repeal. In 10 of the last 12 General Assembly sessions, bills have been introduced to repeal the death penalty but have not made it to a full vote. This year members in both chambers are expecting the bill will reach the floor for a full vote.

Proponents of overturning Maryland's draconian death penalty law appear to be within one or two votes of gaining enough political clout to push repeal through the State Senate where previous efforts have failed in years past.

Please join us in demanding that the Maryland General Assembly support the repeal of the death penalty.

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December 12, 2012 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS Call Maryland Senate President Mike Miller and tell him to stop blocking a vote to repeal the death penalty

UPDATE (12/20/12)Hundreds of Maryland ColorOfChange members have signed the petition to repeal capital punishment in the state. There's serious momentum behind the drive by both the General Assembly and Governor to finally drop the death penalty from the books at the top of the new legislative session.

And now Maryland ColorOfChange members are keeping the pressure on by calling Senate President Miller's office. It's simple: visit our calls page and tell Mike Miller to stop blocking a vote on repealing the death penalty.

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