November 12, 2004

Activists examine death penalty

Amnesty International at the University of Chicago will host its fourth annual convention of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty this Saturday and Sunday.

Activists from across the country will gather in Kent Hall, at 1020 East 58th Street, to assess the movement, evaluate its victories, and consider its challenges. The convention will include discussions, workshops, and 10 guest speakers.

Noreen McNulty, a convention administrator and chapter member of Amnesty International in Hyde Park, said the intimate perspective that many of the guest speakers have on the issue will be among the most remarkable parts of the convention. "An important highlight of the convention is the former prisoners and prisoners' family members who speak about the issue from a very personal, first-hand experience," she said.

Among the speakers are Ryan Matthews, who was released from death row in Louisiana upon recently being freed, and Billy Neal More, a former death row prisoner in Georgia. Other speakers are family members of those on death row and experts on the issue, including Locke Bowman, the director of the MacArthur Justice Center and lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago.

The convention begins with registration at 9 a.m. on Saturday and concludes at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Registration for both days costs $45, with a special student rate of $10 on Saturday. A Saturday night dinner program is also available for an additional $10. Visit for more information.