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372 people attend NCADP 2010 Annual Conference in Louisville last weekend

Sister Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking"

Sister Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking"

NCADP’s 2010 Annual Conference held in Louisville last weekend was a roaring success! From the Louisville Courier-Journal’s “Conference of death penalty opponents ends with call for compassion“:

There were no banners, posters or bullhorns, but 372 people from 37 states, including best-selling author Sister Helen Prejean [right], converged on Louisville to peacefully protest capital punishment during the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s 2010 annual convention.

And the Public News Service’s convention coverage focused on mental illness in “Death penalty opponents converge on Kentucky

Susannah Sheffer, program staffer with the group Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights, says people with mental illness should be excluded from receiving the death penalty.

“Someone who is suffering from mental retardation, for example, is not fully aware of the consequence of their actions, and the same is true of people suffering really debilitating symptoms of severe mental illness.”

House Bill 16 would apply only to a narrow pool of defendants, and would ensure that those convicted still are severely punished, not merely institutionalized. Opponents say the measure would offer defense attorneys too many opportunities to use mental illness as an argument. If passed, the Kentucky legislation would be the most comprehensive in the country at protecting those who are mentally ill from execution.

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