You can learn about alternatives to the death penalty during Lunch with the League on Tuesday, May 2.
Reverend Stacy Rector, executive director of Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, will be the guest speaker.
The meeting will take place at noon Tuesday in the Social Room of the Unitarian Universalist Church at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike. It may also be accessed on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89723362660?pwd=UkMxOVdzZExKamVwRWJxWHp0SlpjZz09
A native of Dyersburg, Tennessee, Reverend Rector is a graduate of Rhodes College and Columbia Theological Seminary, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. She served as associate pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville for nine years before becoming executive director of Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (TADP) in 2006, a press release said. She also served as spiritual advisor to Steve Henley, an inmate on Tennessee’s death row, who was executed in 2009.
She has also served as vice president of the national board of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty and on the boards of UKIRK Nashville (Presbyterian Campus Ministry) and Community Shares Tennessee. She is currently active in the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee and serves on the Presbytery’s Social Justice Committee.
Founded on the conviction that Tennessee’s death penalty system is broken, Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty seek to honor life by abolishing Tennessee’s death penalty, the press release said. The organization strives to fulfill its mission by educating Tennesseans about the failed policy the death penalty represents and organizing citizens to advocate for policy change. “We believe,” the organization’s website explains, “that the time and resources currently expended on the death penalty in Tennessee should be used to offer more support for surviving families and other victims of violent crime; to provide trauma informed care, particularly to our children and communities that experience disproportionate amounts of violence; to expand access to mental and behavioral health services; and to work to solve the thousands of Tennessee homicide cases that remain unsolved since the 1980s. (https://tennesseedeathpenalty.org/about-us/mission-and-history/)
Currently, the press release said, Tennessee has the 11th largest death row in the country with 49 people behind bars: 48 men and one woman. The overwhelming majority of Tennessee’s death row inmates could not afford to hire their own defense at the very time when Tennessee’s public defenders are carrying some of the highest caseloads in the country.
TADP has thousands of supporters statewide and provides opportunities for supporters to become more engaged and activated in their communities through educational forums, speakers’ bureaus, letter writing campaigns, and vigils, as well as through TADP’s annual Justice Day on the Hill, the press release said. Come to the May 2 presentation to learn more. You may also learn more by visiting TADP’s website (https://tennesseedeathpenalty.org/ or by emailing [email protected]. The recorded May 2 presentation will be available several days after the event on the League of Women Voter’s website (https://my.lwv.org/tennessee/oak-ridge).
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