News and Events

Amnesty International Club Holds Death Penalty Teach-In for Death-Row Inmate

Friday, October 30, 2009

Exeter, NH (October 27, 2009)—Students of Phillips Exeter Academy Amnesty International Club will host a Teach-In on the death penalty, in support of a Georgia death-row inmate who has faced three execution dates for the murder of a police officer he claims he did not commit. Troy Davis, who has been on death row since 1991, learned in August of the U.S. Supreme Court’s order for the federal court for the Southern District of Georgia to hold an evidence hearing to determine his innocence. The Teach-In will be held on Friday, October 30, 6:00-7:30 p.m., in the Forum on the third floor of the Phelps Academy Center on Tan Lane. The event is free and open to the public.

The Teach-In will feature guest speaker Robert “Renny” Cushing, executive director of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights, an international, non-governmental organization of family members of victims of criminal murder, terrorist killings, state executions, extra-judicial assassinations, and “disappearances” working to oppose the death penalty from a human rights perspective. Cushing, a state representative from Hampton, NH, and a member of the recently established NH Death Penalty Study Commission, became a victim himself when his father was shot and killed by a Hampton, NH, policeman in 1988. That incident shaped Cushing’s work as an advocate for crime victims and as an opponent of the death penalty. He serves as a pioneer in the effort to bridge death penalty abolition groups and the victims’ rights movement. Cushing travels throughout the U.S. and around the world, speaking with and on behalf of victims who oppose capital punishment.

PEA Amnesty International Club Adviser Martha McEntee says although the group is launching their first event this school year, they have big plans for the future. “Our club members are hoping to make this Teach-In the first of many human rights’ events on campus this year. The Troy Davis case is compelling judicial example, raising critical questions about the death penalty and the entire criminal justice system. It has drawn the attention of death penalty opponents worldwide, including Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-apartheid activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Sister Helen Prejean, the author of Dead Man Walking,” she says.

The event is hosted by members of the Phillips Exeter Academy’s ESSO Amnesty International Club and their adviser, Martha McEntee. For further information, contact McEntee at 603-580-1379. For more information on other events, visit the Academy’s community calendar or visit the Academy’s website at You may also call the PEA public events line at 603-777-4309. Directions to Phillips Exeter Academy are available at 603-777-4330.