Resources for People Seeking an Alternative to the Death Penalty
The Unitarian Universalists for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (UUADP) is honored to share messages that communicate the need for alternatives to capital punishment. Our resources include:
- Books, essays, plays, and statements to share
An arsenal of words to reinforce allies and to persuade the unconvinced
Wisdom preached at Unitarian Universalist sanctuaries and assemblies.
- General Assembly Handouts
Material distributed at the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Declaration of Life
Statement of your request that the death penalty not be imposed, should you die as a result of a violent crime.
Frontiers of Justice, Volume 1: The Death Penalty
Seven years ago, my uncle was murdered. My uncle's killer is still alive, serving a life sentence. I thank God that the brutal, irrational crime that ended my uncle's life did not result in another senseless killing.
— Julie Zimmerman
Julie Zimmerman is the editor of Biddle Press, and wrote this as a foreword to this book which deserves an honored place on the bookshelves of abolitionists everywhere. It is a fine collection of essays examining the death penalty issue from many points of view.
To order contact:
Biddle Publishing Company
PO Box 1305 #103
Brunswick, ME 04011
A play in one act by Ellen H. Showell.
The Execution of Elroy Chester
The story of Elroy Chester, a mentally retarded man who was executed by Texas in 2013, written by Susan Orlansky, Elroy's death penatly appeal attorney.
Ideas for Your Skeptical Friends
A reasoned challenge to those who continue to support capital punishment.
by Bryan Stevenson (2014, Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House).
Stevenson, a founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, has dedicated his legal career to defending those who are trapped by an often capricious, political, and willfully unjust criminal justice system - poor people, people of color. The book speaks to justice, mercy, and compassion, themes of concern to us as Unitarian Universalists and as human beings.
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations "Common Reads" discussion
guide on the book
Kelly Gissendaner: An Unlikely Friendship Blossoms Between a Killer and a Scholar
CNN Story on the relationship between German theologian Jurgen Moltmann and deathrow inmate Kelly Gissdaner. Kelly was executed by the state of Georgia on September 30, 2015.
Kill the Death Penalty
Letter to the Editor by Rev. Dave Hunter of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Greater Cumberland
The Rev. Cathy Harrington
San Francisco Chronicle interview with Rev. Harrington about her plans to speak at the sentencing of her daughter's murderer and Rev. Harrington's sentencing statement. (pdf file)
Sightings Report from the Martin Marty Center of the University of Chicago DivinitySchool
May, 5, 2014 review of current trends against the death penalty.
"Tonight" by Jason Guard
Essay written following after the August 20, 1998 execution of Lance Chandler in Virginia.
Virgin Unite Videos
"Why I Come to This Church"
Talk by Tim Stanton, First Unitarian Church, Richmond, Virginia on Sunday, October 11, 1998, which was Amnesty International's Faith in Action on the Death Penalty Day.
Madelyn Cambell Blog Post
Service by the Rev. Alison Cornish
Service conducted at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bellport.
- How Justice is Served (PDF). October 23, 2005
Sermon by the Rev. Natalie Fenimore
Service conducted at the Davies Memorial UU Church, Camp Springs, MD
- The Death Penalty (mp3 audio).
Two sermons by Rev. Nana Kratochvil
Rev. Kratochvil is minister at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Michigan, and a murder victim family member.
Service by Rev. Dave Hunter
Rev. Dave Hunter is from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Greater Cumberland
- Justice, An Elusive Goal. February 12, 2006
Sermon by Jayson Lydon
- A Fate Worse Than Death (pdf)
Sermon by Jean Rabenold
Jean was a member of the Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and was a member of the Board of the Unitarian Universalists for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
- The Death Penalty: Unpatriotic? January, 2010
Sermon by Rev. Carol S. Rudisill
Rev Rudisill preached at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada where she was the Interim Minister
Why Do We Kill People? October 15, 2006
Two sermons by Robert P. Tucker, Ph.D.
Rev. Dr. Tucker is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lakeland, Florida
- Therefore Be It Resolved...
Argues for abolition of the death penalty on the basis of civil and religious facts
- An Eye for an Eye
Argues against capital punishment using biblical exegesis, historical memory, and an unexpected personal anecdote
Sermon by Rev. Nate Walker
A sermon offered by Reverend Nate Walker on behalf of the Joseph Priestley District of the Unitarian Universalist Association at the General Assembly in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- A Letter to My Murderer (PDF). June 27, 2009
Service by Rev. Judy Welles
A service offered at the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumerland Valley.
- Therefore Choose Life. January 16, 2000
General Assembly Handouts
- Kelly Gissendaner: An Unlikely Friendship Blossoms Between a Killer and a Scholar CNN Story. (2016 General Assembly)
- Just Mercy Discussion Guide
UUA Common Read publication. (2016 General Assembly)
- Facts About the Death Penalty
Death Penalty Information Center Update May 12, 2016 (2016 General Assembly)
- The Death Penalty is Dying
UUADP report on 20 states who have abolished the Death Penalty. (General Assembly 2016)
- "After Leslie: Variations on Love"
poem by Nancy Shaffer for Cathy
- "A Mother's Story"
by Rev. Cathy Harrington
- "Transforming Violence: the compassionate response"
compiled by he Rev. Cathy Harrington
- "A Lawyer's Story: The Execution of Elroy Chester"
by Susan Orlansky
- "Homocide -- Justifiable"
Matt Cherry tells the story of a judicial killing in the cover story from
of the New Humanist magazine, Spring, 2003