call demands Ohio's governor pardon Lucasville prisoners
By Sharon Danann, Workers World
Feb. 10, 2008
opponent debate death penalty
The Youngstown Vindicator
Feb. 2, 2008
being Muslim a capital crime in Ohio?
Feb. 1, 2008
The Socialist Worker
on death row
Family members want more contact with inmates
By Christopher Bobby, The Warren Tribune Chronicle
Jan. 20, 2008
wants contact rights for death row inmates
The Youngstown Vindicator
Jan. 20, 2008
of the 2008 Ohio State Penitentiary MLK Rally
The Warren Tribune Chronicle
rights group plans conference, rally
The Youngstown Vindicator
Jan. 17, 2008
demands: Overturn Lucasville 5 convictions
By Caleb T. Maupin, Workers World
Jan. 10, 2008
the Executions" Rally in Youngstown,
Jan. 14, 2007
Report, Sharon Danann
Sun., Jan. 14, in spite of drenched clothing and the state's videocameras,
a crowd of about 80 people maintained their high spirits at the
driveway into the Ohio
State Penitentiary in Youngstown, OH. As a protest against the
death penalty in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday (Jan.15),
it seemed appropriate that the sounds of "We Shall Overcome"
rose up from the group, led by the activist community group Black
on Black Crime from Cleveland which had brought a large contingent.
They also led the crowd in their trademark chant of "No truth!
No justice! No peace!" Soon after that, additional chanting
started up around the huge "Stop the Executions!" banner,
"What do we want? To end the death penalty! When do we want
addition to the local groups strongly represented, Youngstown
Prison Forum, LOOP
(Loved Ones Of Prisoners), and Youngstown
Peace Action, Cleveland organizations were there in force. The
Cleveland Lucasville Five Defense Committee, one of the sponsoring
organizations, arranged for a van and coordinated a car caravan.
The Cleveland Coalition Against
the Death Penalty brought people and signs. And Black
on Black Crime provided not just many carloads, but all of the
energy to match. Look out, State of Ohio, here they come!
people were there because of a prisoner letter campaign in which
prisoners did outreach to other prisoners and to family and friends
to bring people to the rally. As relatives held up signs with their
loved ones' names, it became a way to network for future organizing
to cement a coordinated strategy for success. Some of the mothers
have set up a website of their own, www.ourfight4justice.com.
Check it out.
rally was a kickoff to a new campaign and a new era. We have a new
governor in Columbus. We have a new level of coordination and energy.
We will be challenging the barbaric, racist death penalty which
targets the poor and murders the innocent. And we will be making
our case for the overturning of all Lucasville rebellion-related
convictions which were false and unjust in the first place. Thirteen
years in solitary confinement is way more than long enough for crimes
these men did not commit in the first place. We're on the move!
penalty opponents protest at state prison
Protesters promoted the cause of prisoners charged in the Lucasville
By Don Shilling, The Vindicator
Jan. 15, 2007
- About 50 opponents of the death penalty gathered outside the Ohio
State Penitentiary to send a message. "We have a new governor,"
said Susan Schnur, 49, of Cleveland. "We're hoping this is
a starting point. We want Governor Strickland to see us."
The protest Sunday was organized by activists in Cleveland but also
included Youngstown-area residents. The protesters were allowed
to gather, chant and display signs on the side of a driveway leading
into the Coitsville-Hubbard Road prison, which is home to Ohio's
death row inmates. They staged the protest on the Martin Luther
King Day weekend because of King's involvement in social justice.
their general opposition to the death penalty, the protesters also
were trying to raise public attention of "the Lucasville five."
The five men were found guilty of additional charges after the 1993
riot at a state prison in Lucasville. Atty. Staughton Lynd of Niles
recently wrote the book "Lucasville - The Untold Story of a
Prison Uprising" that claims the men were unfairly charged
and had nothing to do with the death of prison guards.
Sharon Danann, 56, of Cleveland received a call from one of those
Lucasville prisoners a few months ago and gathered her activist
friends to form the Lucasville Five Defense Committee. They are
pushing for pardons for all men charged in the riot because they
say the investigation was not handled properly.
Danann and others are part of groups in Cleveland that fight for
social causes. Danann said the turnout for the protest exceeded
Miller, 19, of Berea said he joined because he thinks capital punishment
is a "tool of the rich."
A common theme among the protesters was "You never see a rich
Olivia Flak, 34, of Youngstown said she is against the death penalty
because society isn't working hard enough to help people escape
"Someone may commit a crime, but they don't know any other
way of life.
That's why I'm against capital punishment," she said.
Rain pelted the protesters, who started in a parking lot of a church
adjacent to the prison but then moved to the waterlogged grass that
ran along the prison driveway. Their spirits were high, however.
Olivia Flak's mother, Chris Flak, 52, of Youngstown huddled under
an umbrella and summed it up for everyone who came out.
"On a rainy day like this you have to have it in your heart,"
Screenshots of WFMJ
21 (NBC) News Coverage
Gather At State Penitentiary In Youngstown
WYTV (ABC), Youngstown (Video)
Jan. 14, 2007
first execution of the year is scheduled for next week. But some
don't want it to happen now or ever. Today those against the death
penalty held a peaceful protest in Youngstown. About 30 anti -death
penalty protesters hold signs and chant in front of the gates at
the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown; home to Ohio's death
row. "I don't believe the human race should be playing God.
God would not want this. It's wrong we should not be judging people."
Said protest or Shirley Saunders of Euclid.
week Kenneth Biros is expected to die by lethal injection in Lucasville
unless the Governor wants more time to review the case. Biros killed
Tammy Engstrom back in 1991 and scattered her body parts around
Trumbull County. Engstrom's sister Debi Heiss says in regard to
the protest., "Let them bring Ken Biros home with them and
give him a few knives and put him in a locked room with one of their
loved ones for an hour...Then maybe they would change their opinions."
Heiss adds, "The case has caused a financial burden on them
as well as emotional...What about the victim's."
Created: Jan 14, 2007 at 6:45 PM EST
Press Release ***
MLK Rally: Rethinking Ohio's Death Penalty
When: Jan. 14, 2007, 2-4 p.m.
Where: Ohio State Penitentiary, 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.,
It's Time to Rethink Ohio's Death Penalty
Ohio has executed 24 prisoners since it reinstated the death penalty,
after introducing lethal injections in 1999. More than half of these
executions have taken place since 2004, making Ohio the state with
the second-highest execution rate, following Texas. There are three
upcoming executions scheduled in January (Kenneth
Biros, Jan. 23) and February of 2007 (James
Filiaggi, Feb. 13 & Christopher
Newton, Feb. 27).
Ohioans concerned about the arbitrariness of death penalty sentencing,
as well as the legality of lethal injections, emphasize that it's
time to rethink the death penalty. And incoming Gov. Ted Strickland
has made a good start: Last Friday, Strickland announced that he
would not approve the execution of Kenneth Biros, scheduled for
Martin Luther King Day Anti-Death Penalty Vigil
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, there will be
a rally at the gates of Ohio
State Penitentiary (OSP), Sunday, Jan. 14, 2-4 PM. OSP is the
supermax prison where most of Ohio's death row prisoners are held.
It is located at 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd., Youngstown. This event
is a collaborative effort of the Cleveland
Lucasville Five Defense Committee, the Youngstown
Prison Forum and LOOP
(Loved Ones Of Prisoners).
is being organized from Cleveland in the form of either a charter
bus or vans. For reservations, call (216) 481-6671 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested donation is $12, more if you can, less if you can't.
for the Cleveland Lucasville Five Defense Committee
Sharon Danann, Lucasville Five Defense Committee (216) 481-6671
Theresa Lyons, LOOP (Loved Ones Of Prisoners) (330) 207-5132
LOOP (Loved Ones Of Prisoners), P.O. Box 2306, Youngstown, OH 44509