An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.  - Gandhi

OK-CADP Hosts Debate & Dinner Featuring Frank Thompson, Former Warden Now Anti-Death Penalty Activist

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (OK-CADP) is pleased to announce two special events to be held on Saturday, April 4, on the University of Central Oklahoma campus.  Both events will be held in the Nigh University Center, 2nd Street and Garland Godfrey Drive in Edmond.

From 3 to 4 p.m. the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) and the University of Oklahoma (OU) Debate Teams will examine “Strategies for Ending the Death Penalty” in Constitution Hall on the 2nd floor. This event is free and open to the public.  The two teams will debate what is the best path for eliminating capitol punishment.

This year’s OK-CADP’s Annual Dinner’s Keynote Speaker, former Oregon State Penitentiary warden Frank Thompson, now an anti death penalty advocate, will follow the debate with remarks and participant involvement at 4 p.m.

Registration for OK-CADP’s 24th Annual Membership Meeting & Awards Dinner will open at 5 p.m. in the Nigh Center Ballrooms A&B on the 3rd Floor.

Dinner will be served at 5:30 featuring former warden Thompson.

Now a member of the Advisory Council of Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Mr. Thompson was warden when Oregon carried out two executions, the only ones in the past 52 years. The experience was enough for him to now support life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty.

He travels the country speaking out against the death penalty and projects that maintaining the state’s death penalty system costs $9-20 million each year.

As warden, he realized he was training men and women to take the life of a human being, while evidence showed it did not produce positive outcomes and was costly to taxpayers.  He believes there is a real and unacceptable chance of killing an innocent person.

Reflecting on the infamous botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014, Thompson said, “I often emphasize how what happened in Oklahoma caused me to emotionally revisit all of the ‘what if’ scenarios that gave me nightmares as we prepared for the executions in Oregon.”

Since 1973 more than 150 people have been released from death rows in the United States–ten of these in Oklahoma.

A grassroots organization, OK-CADP engages in outreach, education, and advocacy aimed at raising awareness of issues related to the death penalty and mobilizing Oklahoma citizens – and their elected officials – to support abolition of the death penalty.

“These events and what Mr. Thompson has to say is more important than ever,” said Adam Leathers, OK-CADP Board Spokesperson. “Right now, the eyes of the world are on Oklahoma; waiting to see if we will act in logic and reason or if we will choose to embrace the death penalty and thereby embrace an archaic, barbaric, and expensive means of seeking vengeance that has nothing to do with justice or crime prevention.”

Dinner tickets are $50 for adults and $15 for students.  Purchase tickets here

For more information, check out the article in The City Sentinel.