March 31st



‘Road Trip’ speakers promote abolition of death penalty

An exonerated death row inmate and a representative of Amnesty International discussed the flaws of the death penalty and promoted its abolition last week during the Springfield stop of the two-week statewide Road Trip for Justice.

Delbert Tibbs described the events surrounding what is believed to be a wrongful conviction that landed him on Florida’s death row, while Robert Schultz, Membership Field Organizer for the Midwest Regional Office of Amnesty International, reported on recent progress in the campaign to abolish the death penalty.

Amnesty International and the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty co-sponsored the event, which was held on March 24 at the Heartland Peace Center, 830 S. College.

Schultz said that the abolition of the death penalty in the United States is one of four domestic human rights priorities of Amnesty International.

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Montsi ‘living on borrowed time’

Dr. Mercy Montsi, in her mid-fifties, has already outlived the average woman from Botswana.  “I’m living on borrowed time,” Montsi told an audience of central Illinois social workers and the UIS community on March 23.  Montsi’s traveled to UIS to share the devastation the HIV/AIDS crisis has caused in her home country. 

The life expectancy for children born today in this southern African country is less than 40 years.  As the prevalence of human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS) infection climbs towards 40 percent nationally, the people and government of Botswana are desperate for solutions. 

Even after the implementation of measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), HIV infection rates are expected to remain above 20 percent for at least the next 50 years.

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