National Coalition to

Abolish the Death Penalty

90 million Americans believe the death penalty is wrong. We mobilize them to end the death penalty state by state.
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Authors

Aysha Sultan

Aysha Sultan is a Research Director at the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Prior to joining NCADP, Aysha worked for the United Nations Department of PeaceKeeping Operations as a Justice and Corrections intern and the New York State Division of Human Rights as a legal intern. 

Aysha recently graduated from the two-year accelerated JD program at Brooklyn Law School and earned her Bachelor's degree, Cum Laude, in Political Science from Stony Brook University. 

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Alan Williams

Alan Williams joined the staff of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty as a Staff Attorney in February, 2016. He is a recent law school graduate with a number of years of academic and professional experiences dealing with death penalty law and issues. Among other things, his work at the NCADP includes both monitoring legal and policy developments, and providing legal support to advance the Coalition’s mission of ending the death penalty.

Prior to joining the NCADP, Alan worked as an appellate clerk and junior prosecutor for the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office in Lansing, Michigan—a position that saw him write numerous Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court appellate briefs that dealt with state statutes and constitutional law. Before that, Alan completed two clerkships that had him dealing directly with appellate and death penalty issues: first with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids, and then with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio in Columbus.

Alan earned his Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, in Political Science from Albion College, and his J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law. He is a proud member of the State Bar of Illinois.

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Jesse Docter

Jesse Docter is an intern at the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and a sophomore at Oberlin College. At Oberlin he studies history and politics, and is a student senator. In his spare time he enjoys cooking and biking.

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Elena Dennis

Elena Dennis is a rising senior at Northwestern University majoring in political science with minors in sociology and history. On campus, she leads EDU, a club focused on the issues affecting education reform today. When she’s not working to fight social injustice, Elena spends way too much time obsessing over the Chicago Cubs.

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Selene Nelson

Selene Nelson is an British-American freelance writer. She writes about criminal justice and current affairs. Her Twitter handle is @Selene_Nelson.

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Joelle Leib

Joelle Leib

Summer 2015 Communications Intern

Joelle Leib is a rising junior studying American Studies with a concentration in history at Scripps College, a women’s college in Claremont, California. At Scripps she is a member of the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company and social activities chair of Claremont Hillel. Joelle is currently a participant of Machon Kaplan, a social justice based internship program run by the Religious Action Center. In her spare time she enjoys swing dancing and hiking.

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Anthony Orso

Anthony Orso

2015 Summer Communications Intern

Anthony Orso is an upcoming senior at the University of Missouri—Columbia, studying journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication. His career goal is to do public relations and lobbying for nonprofits. Anthony is particularly concerned with the issues of LGBTQ rights, socioeconomic inequality, social and intellectual stratification in higher education, stigmatization of mental illness and criminal justice reform. He is a classically trained violinist who spends his free time enjoying arts and culture.

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Allison Morrow

Allison Morrow has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Indiana University and will be receiving her Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from George Washington University in May 2015. She is passionate about social justice and human and animal rights. 

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Bailey Elise McBride

Bailey Elise McBride

Bailey Elise McBride is a freelance journalist. She previously worked at the Associated Press as a newswoman in Oklahoma City, and covered the executions and legal battles of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner. Follow her on Twitter @baileyelise

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Zachary Crockford

Zachary Crockford

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Lena Glickman

Lena Glickman

Winter 2014 Intern

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Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez

Fall 2014 Intern

Carlos Martinez is a senior Political Science major at Santa Clara University in California, and is studying Public Law for a semester at American University. Guided by a passion for social justice and human rights, Carlos hopes to practice law in the future and make justice accessible for those who need it the most.

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Sasha Zakka

Sasha Zakka

Fall 2014 Intern

Sasha Zakka is a freshman at American University, majoring in business and hoping to pursue law in the future. Sasha is driven by her passion for human rights.

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Sarah Swig

Sarah Swig

Fall 2014 Intern

Sarah Swig graduated with honors from Tulane University in May of 2014, completing a double major in Political Science and International Development and a minor in Spanish. Sarah strives to keep her passions for human rights and social justice at the forefront of her career.

 

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Camille Johnson

Camille Johnson

Legal Intern

Camille Johnson is a second-year law student at Georgetown University Law center and holds a bachelors degree from the University of Michigan, where she majored in Political Science and History. Her lifelong passion for human, civil, and political rights led her to the NCADP, where she continues to advocate for these rights.

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Ben Grimes

Ben Grimes

Summer 2014 Intern

Ben Grimes is a student at Amherst College. After volunteering for various political campaigns and organizations, he was led to the NCADP by a passion for social justice and human rights. He studies Political Science and Sociology and can be reached at bmgrimes93@gmail.com.

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Stacy Rector

Stacy Rector

Stacy Rector is the Executive Director of Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. She is a native of Dyersburg, Tennessee, a graduate of Rhodes College and Columbia Theological Seminary, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. She served as the Associate Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville for nine years. During her time as a pastor, Stacy served on the board of TADP, the Restorative Justice Coalition of Tennessee, and was a founding member of the board for the Presbyterian Network to End Homelessness. In October 2006, Stacy became Executive Director of Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (TADP), an organization whose mission is to honor life by abolishing the death penalty. She also currently serves on the Peacemaking and Outreach committees for the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee and on the board of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty.

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Sabrina Butler

Sabrina Butler

Sabrina Butler is the Assistant Director of Membership and Training at Witness to Innocence. She still lives in Columbus, Mississippi, with her husband of 19 years and three children.

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Frank Thompson

Frank Thompson

Frank Thompson of Salem is a retired prison superintendent from the Oregon Department of Corrections. He can be reached at plez34@aol.com.

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Philip Egger

Philip Egger

Philip Egger is a Ph.D candidate in mathematics at Northwestern University. He has lived in several countries and speaks five languages. He can be contacted at philipegger2015@u.northwestern.edu, or on Twitter at @PhilipEgger.

 

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Roy Speckhardt

Roy Speckhardt

Roy Speckhardt has served as executive director of the American Humanist Association since 2005. He is a frequent media commentator, having appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News, and NPR, among others. He also writes a regular column for The Huffington Post and Patheos, and has given speeches at colleges, conferences, and local humanist groups across the country.

Speckhardt also serves on the boards of The Institute for Humanist Studies, the United Coalition of Reason, The Humanist Institute, and the Secular Coalition for America Education Fund. He served as deputy director of The Interfaith Alliance from 1995 to 2001.

Speckhardt holds an M.B.A. from George Mason University and B.A. in sociology from Mary Washington College. He currently lives in Washington, DC.

Roy is also a featured speaker on the AHA Speakers Bureau.

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Sally Kohn

Sally Kohn

CNN Contributor and Daily Beast columnist. Follow Sally on Twitter at @SallyKohn

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Tiyana Clark

Tiyana Clark

Tiyana Clark, originally from Los Angeles, California, is an NCADP intern and a May 2014 graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A.. in Economics. She has been an ardent supporter and volunteer for advocacy organizations like Peace Over Violence. Tiyana is fluent in French and Farsi. Her internship is part of the CU in DC program at the University of Colorado that gives students hands on work experience in the fast-paced world of DC.

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Sam Cooper

Sam Cooper

Sam Cooper has managed candidates and large scale field operations for municipal, state wide, federal, and independent expenditure campaigns and has extensive experience training volunteers and building broad and diverse coalitions.  Some of the issues Sam has organized around have been Health Care Reform, Voting Rights, Workers Rights, and Public Safety. Sam is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

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Claire Moshenberg

Claire Moshenberg

Claire Moshenberg is a writer, editor, and online organizer. She has an extensive background in developing online and on the ground campaign strategies for state and national campaigns. Her writing has appeared on the Huffington Post, MomsRising, Yahoo Shine, Feministing, and more. She has campaigned for a range of issues including Environmental Health, Health Care, and Immigration Reform.

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Delphine Nihoul

Delphine Nihoul

Director of Operations

Delphine Nihoul holds a Master's Degree in Law from Belgium where she worked as a criminal lawyer for 6 years. Passionate about human rights and having recently relocated to Washington, DC, she joined NCADP to continue her engagement and contribute to building a fairer society.

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Andrew Cohen

Andrew Cohen

Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, 60 Minutes' first-ever legal analyst, and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. He is also chief analyst for CBS Radio News and has won a Murrow Award as one of the nation's leading legal journalists.

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Robert Azzi

Robert Azzi of Exeter is a freelance photographer who has covered the Middle East and writes about Islam and issues of identity.

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Warren Yoder

Warren Yoder

Warren Yoder is the Executive Director of the Public Policy Center of Mississippi and a board member of Mississippians Educating for Smart Justice (MESJ).  MESJ is an affiliate of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and works to: advocate for the abolition of the death penalty in Mississippi and across the U.S.; advocate for fair sentencing of youth/teens; provide support for families of those who are incarcerated or in the process of re-entry; and educate Mississippians on current issues as related to criminal justice.

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Jeremy Leaming

Jeremy Leaming, Vice President of Communications, joined ACS in March 2008. He directs the organization’s communications efforts. Jeremy is editor of the ACSblog, and helps to shape the organization’s external messaging on an array of priorities through the blog, publications and media outreach.

Before joining ACS, Jeremy was the Communications Associate for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, where his duties included writing articles for the organization’s monthly magazine, Church & State, and posts for its blog, Wall of Separation. He spent five years writing about First Amendment issues for the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Jeremy moved to Washington, D.C. in June 2000 to work as a communications specialist for People For the American Way, where he helped coordinate media outreach, the groupu's quarterly newsletter and served an an editor for an edition of Hostile Climate, a book documenting discrimination against the LGBT communinity. His communications background also includes two years as an adjunct professor for Middle Tennessee State’s School of Journalism, and research for the late David Halberstam's The Children, about the Civil Rights Movement and those who led it.

Jeremy graduated cum laude from Marshall University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 1991 and from The University of Tulsa College of Law with a J.D. in 1994.

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David Love

David Love

David Love directs the daily operations and strategic planning and management of Witness to Innocence, as well as its relations with national and international organizations and donors. David has more than fifteen years of experience as a community organizer, editor, human rights advocate, journalist, legal advocate, legislative staff person, and executive director. He has an extensive background in working with prison issues, police abuse cases, and other human rights issues. He has written and lectured around the world on the issue of the U.S. death penalty. Previously, David served as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, working with legislators in the General Assembly in Harrisburg. He also served as law clerk to two federal judges—the Honorable James T. Giles of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the Honorable Ronald L. Ellis of the Southern District of New York. David is also Executive Editor of BlackCommentator.com, and a contributor to the Huffington Post, TheGrio.com (NBC News), Progressive Media Project, and the Guardian. David received a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies from Harvard College, and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also holds a Certificate in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford.

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Mike Brickner

Mike Brickner

Mike, Communications and Public Policy Director of ACLU of Ohio, received his Master’s degree in psychology from Cleveland State University’s Diversity Management Program and his Bachelor’s degree from Hiram College.

During his seven year tenure at the ACLU, Mike has worked on a variety of critical civil liberties campaigns. These include the Cincinnati-based Police Reform Project, coordinating the advocacy campaign against the Ohio Patriot Act, and promoting state criminal sentencing reform.

In August 2010, Mike co-authored the report Reform Cannot Wait: A Comprehensive Examination of the Cost of Incarceration in Ohio from 1991-2010. The report analyzed two decades of research showing the state’s “tough on crime” laws were a burden on state finances, diminished public safety, and perpetuated racial inequalities. Mike also co-authored and designed the ACLU’s April 2011 report, Prisons for Profit: A Look at Private Prisons. The report highlights the problems faced by other states who have privatized prisons, including: increased costs, safety problems, a lack of transparency, and increased recidivism.

Mike frequently provides commentary to members of the media on core ACLU issues ranging from ending capital punishment to strengthening state privacy laws.

Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Greater Cleveland Community Shares, who named him the 2009 Volunteer of the Year. Recently he was named a Sue B. Mercy Fellow with Humanity in Action, an international non-profit organization devoted to promoting global human rights.

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Kara Gotsch

Kara Gotsch

Kara, NCADP’s Director of National Programs, oversees the implementation of the 90 Million Strong Campaign, a national effort to increase awareness about the fallibility of the death penalty, organize the large base of opposition to the death penalty and mobilize that opposition to advance abolition across the nation. Previously, she served as the Director of Advocacy at The Sentencing Project, a national criminal justice reform organization, where she helped lead a federal legislative campaign that successfully ended the 100 to 1 crack cocaine sentencing disparity. Prior to that she worked for the ACLU’s National Prison Project where she oversaw communications and media outreach.

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Mary Kelly Tate

Mary Kelly Tate

Professor Mary Kelly Tate serves as Director of Richmond Law School's Institute for Actual Innocence, which works to identify and exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals in Virginia by pursuing writs of actual innocence and related post-conviction relief, and also teaches a wrongful convictions seminar. Her scholarship focuses on post-conviction issues, and she has been invited to speak at national symposiums on innocence commissions and the problem of wrongful convictions. Students working with Professor Tate through the Institute for Actual Innocence receive a rich academic and clinical education experience that involves case review and reinvestigation, as well as partnership with legal, scientific, and policy leaders in the field. Professor Tate and her students also work in the area of public policy reform. Professor Tate has served as an Assistant Public Defender in the Richmond Public Defender's Office, and represented individuals in post-conviction capital and criminal litigation as an attorney in private practice.

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Barbara R. Arnwine

Barbara R. Arnwine is founder and president of the Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC) and host of "Igniting Change with Barbara Arnwine", a news talk show which broadcasts weekly on Radio One’s WOL 1450 AM in the Washington, DC area. She is the former Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and is internationally renowned for contributions on critical justice issues including the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991.  A graduate of Scripps College and Duke University School of Law, she continues to champion civil rights issues nationally and internationally in the areas of housing, fair lending, community development, employment voting, education and environmental justice. A prominent leader in the civil rights community, Ms. Arnwine also continues to fight for the preservation of affirmative action and diversity programs.

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Vicki Adams Werneke

Vicki Adams Werneke is a Federal Public Defender with 20 years of experience doing capital case work.  Among other clients, she was part of the legal team for former, Ohio death row inmate, Billy Slagle.

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Wade Henderson

Wade Henderson

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition, and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. Under his stewardship, The Leadership Conference has become one of the nation's most effective advocates for civil and human rights. Mr. Henderson is also the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., Professor of Public Interest Law at the David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia. Prior to his role with The Leadership Conference, Mr. Henderson was the Washington Bureau director of the NAACP. Mr. Henderson is a graduate of Howard University and the Rutgers University School of Law.  He is a member of the Bar in the District of Columbia and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Henderson has received countless awards and honors, including the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit from the Washington Bar Association.

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Laura W. Murphy

Laura W. Murphy

Laura W. Murphy is in her second tenure as Director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, a position she first held from 1993-2005. Since returning Murphy has maintained strong relationships with leaders in the United States Congress and the Obama Administration to advance the ACLU’s public policy priorities including national security, criminal justice, human rights, privacy, reproductive rights, civil rights and First Amendment issues.

Recently, Murphy played a leadership role in the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama on August 3, 2010—a law that reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine and that begins to address some of the racial disparities in the criminal justice system.  Under her leadership, the ACLU Washington Legislative Office worked with Congress and the White House to gain support around federally-funded abortions for servicewomen and military dependents in the cases of rape or incest. The provision was signed into law on January 2, 2013.

Prior to her return to the ACLU, she founded and directed her own firm, Laura Murphy & Associates, L.L.C., where she utilized her 30 years of policy-making and political expertise to guide and advise corporate and non-profit clients at the national, state and local levels.

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Jin Hee Lee

Jin Hee Lee

Jin Hee Lee joined LDF’s Criminal Justice Project in July 2008.  As Senior Counsel, Ms. Lee is engaged in advocacy to address racial biases in the criminal justice system.  She is lead counsel in Brister v. Mississippi, one of the first cases in the country to have a juvenile life without parole sentence declared unconstitutional under the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Miller v. Alabama.  She is a senior member of the legal team representing plaintiffs in Davis v. City of New York, which challenges unlawful trespass stops and arrests by NYPD officers in New York City’s public housing.  She also represents death-sentenced prisoners in state and federal post-conviction proceedings in Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas, raising claims of racial discrimination, ineffective assistance of counsel, and coerced confessions.

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Michael Stone

Michael Stone

Virginia Campaign Coordinator & Publications Manager

Michael Stone joined the staff of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in 2011.  He has twenty-nine years of experience working with the faith community, government and community organizations on a wide range of social justice issues.  He is working to build relationships between the faith community and conservatives with the abolition movement in Virginia.  In addition, he edits the NCADP Lifelines newsletter and manages other NCADP publications.

Prior to joining NCADP, Stone served as the Director of the Office of Justice & Peace for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.  In that role he supervised a staff of ten people across southern Virginia working on migrant ministry, Haiti twinning, prison ministry, ecological justice, family life, disabilities ministry, and socially responsible investment.  He has worked on public policy issues as diverse as abortion, affordable housing, assisted suicide, capital punishment, globalization, immigration reform, minimum wage, and stem cell research.

Stone has served as a board member for the Virginia Catholic Conference, the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, and the Richmond Peace Education Center.  He earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.A. degree in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College.

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H. Alexander Satorie-Robinson

H. Alexander Satorie-Robinson

H. Alexander Satorie-Robinson is president of Robinson & Foster a public interest consulting practice. Satorie-Robinson began his career as an accountant and CPA. Later he pursued his long-term interest in public policy and political activism as a campaign strategist, lobbyist and legislative advocate for a variety of organizations, including six years as the Senior Legislative Representative for the American Civil Liberties Union Gay and Lesbian Rights and HIV/AIDS Programs and as the Director of Public Policy for the Drug Policy Foundation.

Satorie-Robinson was the founding Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Black Justice Coalition. He was the Deputy Executive Director of the National Minority AIDS Council and Chief Development Officer for Creative Alliance in Baltimore.

Satorie-Robinson was a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and a two-term Treasurer for Whitman-Walker Clinic, a Washington, DC-based HIV/AIDS health services provider, where he oversaw fiscal governance of the Clinic’s $15 million budget. Satorie-Robinson served on the Board of Directors for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty for six years and was a two-term Treasurer.

Satorie-Robinson has published several commentaries and his writings have appeared in a number of anthologies and national publications including being a regular blogger for the Bilerico Project. He is the recipient of numerous community awards and recognitions including the 2008 Andrew Goodman Freedom Prize. A graduate of Penn State University Alexander holds undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Accounting and an MBA in Public Administration.

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Diann Rust-Tierney

Diann Rust-Tierney

Executive Director

Diann Rust-Tierney became the Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in 2004.  She is an experienced non-profit manager with thirty years of public policy and litigation advocacy.  She manages the operations of the organization and directs programs for the organization and its 100 affiliate organizations seeking to change public policy on the death penalty.

Previously, Rust-Tierney served as the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project.  Before that, she served as the Chief Legislative Counsel, and Associate Director of the Washington Office of the American Civil Liberties Union.  There she supervised six senior legislative counsel and lobbyists and managed the civil rights and civil liberties legislative program.  During her tenure at the ACLU, she was the lead advocate on capital punishment on Capitol Hill, coordinating a coalition of national organizations on the issue.  She was also the lead lobbyist on a broad portfolio of issues ranging from criminal justice policy, women’s rights, civil rights and legislation to enhance and protect individual rights regardless of sexual orientation.

Prior to joining the staff at the ACLU, she engaged in litigation and public policy advocacy to advance the rights of women and girls at the National Women’s Law Center.  Rust-Tierney received her undergraduate degree in political science from the College of Wooster in Ohio and her law degree from the University Of Maryland School Of Law.

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Anita Grabowski

Anita Grabowski

State Director

Anita Grabowski is the Communications Director for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.  Previously, she served as the Texas State Campaign Coordinator for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.  An Austin resident since 2001, Anita has over twelve years of experience organizing throughout the southeast and nationally on a diverse set of social justice and policy initiatives with the Center for Community Change and the Equal Justice Center.  During this time, she was a founding member and lead organizer for the Mississippi Poultry Workers Center, a grassroots organizing project working to breakdown racial and language barriers between African American and Latino poultry workers in order to develop joint organizing campaigns to improve workplace conditions.

Anita works as a producer on her husband’s films including, Above All Else (in production) and Mississippi Chicken (2007).  They use visual storytelling through film and photography to engage new and diverse audiences in pressing social issues.

Anita received her Bachelor of Arts from New York University in political science and Latin American studies and her Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in Latin American studies with a focus in social anthropology.

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