You can help save a life today

You can help save a life today September 19, 2015

Yesterday the state of Georgia issued an execution warrant for Kelly Renee Gissendaner. In 10 days she will die — unless we act now.

Despite the tireless efforts of Kelly Gissendaner’s legal team and the outcry from people of faith all over America, despite Kelly’s powerful story of transformation and redemption, state officials are determined to execute Kelly.

We must convince the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Kelly a new clemency hearing in order to hear new testimony about why Kelly should live.

As people of faith in Georgia, we aren’t giving up.

We’re putting together a last ditch effort to convince Governor Nathan Deal’s Board of Pardons and Paroles to rethink this terrible decision and commute Kelly’s sentence to life in prison without parole. We’re purchasing ads in local media markets — including the state’s major newspapers — to tell Kelly’s story and remind the State of Georgia that the world is watching.

If we can raise just $10,000, we can make a big splash in Georgia media and make sure the Board of Pardons and Paroles gets our message loud and clear.

Click here to donate $10 or $20 to our ad campaign to stop Kelly’s execution. Each gift matters, and could save a life.

You can also take action right now on social media. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, tweet and post @GovernorDeal and @GA_ParoleBoard using the #KellyOnMyMind hashtag. Remind Governor Deal’s Board of Pardons and Paroles that they must give Kelly a new clemency hearing.

Kelly has expressed deep remorse for her role in the murder of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. And she has reconciled with her children. While they continue to mourn their father’s death, they are asking Georgia to spare their mother’s life.

If they can forgive their mother for killing their father, then surely the state can show mercy.

People every day are waking up to the fact that Kelly’s death would be a great wrong, whether they oppose the death penalty in all cases, or are moved by Kelly’s story of redemption. It is time for people of all political backgrounds to speak up.

Kelly is still alive today because of the power of this movement. Now is the time to pressure Georgia’s decision-makers to do the right thing.

Click here to make a gift to our campaign fund — and help save Kelly’s life!


With gratitude and hope,

The Reverend Kimberly S. Jackson, Letitia M. Campbell, and Rev. Dr. Melissa Browning

P.S. If you know anyone who hasn’t heard Kelly’s story, send them to to learn more and take action!

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  • kenofken

    This is a cause that won’t get so much as a mouse click of my support, and I’m opposed to the death penalty. I come at it from a much different angle than Catholic theology or Christianity in general. I have no problem with the idea that a competent adult person can forfeit their own right to live through their own willful violation of the most fundamental obligation of the social contract.

    In practice, the death penalty is so slipshod and corrupt that it cannot be allowed to persist in modern democratic states with any aspirations to model human rights and the rule of law for the rest of the world. Moreover, I find that modern society lacks the fortitude to kill with any measure of honor or acknowledgement of the violence of an execution. To my mind, employing the death penalty with any honor would involve forthright methods such as firing squad, and the direct participation of a state’s governor in the act each and every time an execution is carried out.

    If this were a petition to end capital punishment, or to commute the sentences of everyone on Georgia’s death row, I would be on board. Sparing individual convicts because they cut a sympathetic figure is a really poor way to administer justice. It’s not even rule of law. It’s a life or death social media popularity contest. It’s not the state’s place to judge the state of someone’s soul or their relative achievement of redemption and spiritual transformation. That’s a matter for one’s deity and perhaps confessor. The state’s only proper considerations are: Is the penalty just (and legal) and was it applied properly in this case?

    Would these “people of faith in Georgia” (or here) still wage this campaign if Kelly Gissandener was an atheist or a model Muslim?

    • Maggie Goff

      Yes to your last question. We would.

      • Mike Petrik

        As a Georgian, I have no doubt this is right. The folks who compose this campaign were not motivated by the late Ms Gissandener’s new found faith, as pleasing as many presumably found it.
        I, too, oppose the death penalty, but for reasons of faith. Conceptually, the idea that some crimes are sufficiently heinous that the death penalty is required to address the moral disorder strikes me as intuitively sensible. But the Church plainly teaches otherwise, and I submit gladly to the Church.

        That said, I do think that the Catechism’s prudential assessment as to the “rare if ever” need for modern societies to resort to the death penalty in order to protect the innocent is gratuitous and unsupported, which is not to say necessarily incorrect. But the fact is that the number of murders committed in or ordered from prisons is not small. Life imprisonment does not address this, and it is logically disorienting to observe that the same folks who dogmatically oppose the death penalty also tend to passionately oppose solitary confinement.