Lately I have felt frustrated with politics, isolated, and not sure what to do about it. I believe that our nation is great because every voice and vote matter, but our lives are so busy and the problems so big that we sometimes neglect our role as citizens. On March 8th, TADP invited me, along with supporters from all across the state, to come to Nashville to speak with legislators face to face about our concerns with the death penalty.
That was the goal of TADP Justice Day on the Hill: to give legislators the facts about how the current death penalty system is failing Tennesseans. With 30 people dedicated enough to travel from their respective parts of the state to Nashville, we not only shared with lawmakers but with each other. We stood with those whose lives have been directly impacted—the wrongfully convicted and murder victims’ families—to make sure our voices were and are heard.
It is because I was given the opportunity to listen to the beliefs of so many Tennesseans about the death penalty from such a variety of perspectives that I am now convinced that repeal is achievable. And, from hearing the feedback given by Tennessee lawmakers, I have reason to believe that they are becoming increasingly concerned about the policy as well.
To all of the murder victims’ family members who joined us, the wrongfully convicted, the educators, clergy, members of law enforcement, and others, thank you. You are the proof that democracy can work and the reason there will be an end to the death penalty in this state. Without you, without your dedication, support, and your voices, we would not be where we are. I am blessed to be a part of a community whose members take their responsibility as citizens so seriously.
Emily N. Haas, TADP Intern