Commemorating opposition to death penalty
August 23, 2011 marks the 84th anniversary of the executions of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1927. To commemorate the date and to build opposition to the restoration of the death penalty in Massachusetts, the Hampden County Chapter of the Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty, in association with The Springfield Diocese: Catholic Charities Agency, will be sponsoring a memorial service in Springfield in memory of the wrongful executions of Sacco and Vanzetti.
The memorial service is scheduled for Aug. 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bishop Marshall Center of St. Michael’s Cathedral at the corner of State and Elliott Streets in Springfield.
The event, which has been held annually since 1991, will also honor two individuals, who have worked for the abolition of the death penalty.
This year the main speaker will be Professor Michael C. White, of Fairfield University in Connecticut. Michael White is a professor of English and is also the program director of Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and received his Ph.D. from the University of Denver. Michael White is the author of six novels, including “The Garden of Martyrs.” He has also published over 45 short stories in national magazines and journals.
The Ken Childs Award will be given this year to Attorney James P. Rooney, the president of Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty. Rooney is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley Law School. He has served as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, NY. He teaches at the New England School of Law and works in Boston as first administrative magistrate with the Division of Administrative Law Appeals. He has been an activist against the death penalty for all of his adult life. He does not remember how long he has been president of Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty.
Red Valley Fog will provide musical entertainment.
The Bishop Marshall Center at St. Michael’s Cathedral is air conditioned and is located at the corner of State and Elliott streets in Springfield. There will be free public parking available. The general public is invited. Refreshments will be served.
John J. Fitzgerald