7 out of Missouri’s 24 inmates currently sentenced to death, or roughly a third, are from the St. Louis area. This made the Death ≠ Justice event at the St. Louis Galleria this past Saturday afternoon all the more relevant.
Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty teamed up with Lush Cosmetics as a Charity Pot partner in Lush’s campaign to fight against the death penalty.
Reggie Griffin and Joe Amrine, two of Missouri’s death row exonerees, shared their experiences with the criminal justice system, both of whom are African-Americans and were wrongly convicted by all-white juries and ultimately sentenced to death as innocent men. Staci Pratt, Executive Director of MADP, spoke about the injustices of the death penalty and why our action is more important now than ever, as the state has set an execution date for Marcellus Williams: August 22, 2017.
Marcellus Williams is currently on death row for the 1998 murder of Lisha Gayle. The state’s highest court issued a stay for his January 2015 execution to pursue further DNA testing, which was inconclusive.
Lush featured its limited edition 31 States Bath Bomb, which is still available for purchase. With plans to raise $150,000, Lush has committed all of these funds to groups fighting against capital punishment. Lush’s campaign seeks to bring public awareness to the fight against the death penalty, which fails to improve public safety, neglects the root causes of crime, and applies unfairly due to economic and racial bias. Funds from the Charity Pot body lotion will also support this cause.
Death sentences, executions and public support for the death penalty in the United States are at historic lows: studies show that more than 90 million Americans oppose the death penalty. Meanwhile, many businesses such as Lush have increased their political activity in the spirit of corporate civic responsibility.