For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 1, 2016

TODAY: #66Reasons to Vote #NoOn66 Social Media Campaign to Launch with Twitter Thunderclap Reaching 4.8 Million Users; Campaign Will Highlight Sixty-Six Stories of Wrongful Conviction

*** Visit http://nooncaprop66.org/66-reasons/ ***

San Francisco, CA — Today, the No on Prop 66 campaign will launch a new social media initiative: #66Reasons to vote #NoOn66. The #66Reasons campaign is aimed at educating voters about the potential impact of Proposition 66 using facts and real-world stories about wrongful conviction. Prop. 66 will increase the risk that California could execute an innocent person by making it more difficult for individuals on death row to introduce newly discovered evidence of their innocence, imposing arbitrary timelines, and requiring inexperienced attorneys to handle complex death penalty appeals.

The #66Reasons initiative will kick off Thursday, September 1, at Noon with a Twitter discussion featuring noted author Sister Helen Prejean and Kirk Bloodsworth, the first man exonerated from death row in the U.S. due to DNA testing. The campaign will also begin with a Twitter Thunderclap estimated to reach more than 4.8 million users. Participants in the Twitter campaign include: Russell Simmons, the American entrepreneur, producer and author who cofounded the hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings, and Ben Jealous, the former director of the NAACP. The Thunderclap is being promoted by dozens of organizations, including SEIU California, UFCW, League of Women Voters of California, ACLU, Color of Change, Amnesty International USA, MoveOn.org, PICO California, and Faith in Public Life.

The #66Reasons initiative will also include a social media campaign that will highlight the story of an individual who was wrongfully convicted for each of the 66 remaining days before the election, starting on Sunday, September 4. The first #66Reasons story will feature Oscar Lee Morris who was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in Long Beach, California. Morris was released from death row in 2000 after the main witness against him issued a deathbed recantation saying that he had falsely implicated Morris in the crime.

“As a former judge I know the criminal justice system makes mistakes and innocent people slip through the cracks,” said former Santa Clara County Judge LaDoris Cordell. “Prop. 66 is a reckless experiment with justice that greatly increases the risk that California will execute an innocent person.”

“More than 150 innocent people in the U.S. have been sentenced to death because of poorly written laws like Prop. 66,” said Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project. “This measure is modeled after flawed laws from states like Texas, where innocent people like Cameron Willingham have been executed. Willingham was executed in 2004 despite new evidence showing that the fire that caused the tragic death of his three daughters was actually an accident, not arson. Prop. 66 takes away protections that help prevent the unjust execution of innocent people.”

To find out more about the #66Reasons to vote #NoOn66, please visit: http://nooncaprop66.org/66-reasons/  or contact Stefanie Faucher at press@cafairjustice.org.

To get updates from the No on Prop 66 campaign, follow the campaign on Twitter or Facebook, or visit the website: http://nooncaprop66.org/.  

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