Director's Message

Volume III Issue 3

By

Robin M. Maher is the Director of the Death Penalty Representation Project.  Robin has written and worked for many years on the death penalty, international human rights and gender issues. She is a frequent lecturer on the death penalty and the crisis of counsel.

November 8, 2010                                                                        

Dear Friends:

Like you, I am deluged with requests for funding this time of year from many wonderful organizations, each as commendable as the next.  I add my appeal to those of many others, knowing the difficulties many of you already face in this recovering economy.  I know we must be deserving of your support to receive it.

We rely almost entirely on the generosity of people like you to do our work.  We are the only organization working nationally to ensure that every death-sentenced person has a competent lawyer.  It is a simple proposition, but one that we must fight for every day.  Good lawyers make the difference between life and death, between fairness and injustice.  Our small budget contains no funding to help us recruit volunteer lawyers, to train defenders, to reform the counsel systems that fail poor people every day, and to advocate for those on Death Row who have no voice.  This is what you make possible with your donation.

We don’t have t-shirts or bumper stickers to thank you for your gift.  But if you care about justice, fair trials, and good lawyers, then we have earned your support.  We believe in making good on the promise inscribed over the doors of the U.S. Supreme Court — Equal Justice Under Law, for everyone.  Our supporters understand this.  You received this letter because I believe that you also understand.  If I’m right, please consider adding us to the other worthy causes you contribute to this year.  Take a few minutes to read this brochure and learn how we will use your gift, and about the men and women whose lives you will help change.  Whatever you can do, in whatever amount, we are immensely grateful for your trust and support.  Thank you so much!

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A Request from Steering Committee Chair and Jenner & Block partner John H. Mathias, Jr.:

As a commercial litigator, trial lawyer, and volunteer death penalty lawyer, I have learned not to beat around the bush when trying to make an important point.  So I won’t.  The Death Penalty Representation Project is in dire need of financial support (i.e., money) to continue its vital work.  In these tough economic times, every law firm is understandably cutting back and resetting charitable priorities.  This has hit the Death Penalty Representation Project hard.

Now more than ever, I implore you to take a second look at the maximum financial support your firm can provide to this extremely worthy cause.  I guarantee you nothing this good ever happens by itself.  We simply cannot leave this to others, because there are no others.

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