LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Droves of protesters and media from all over the nation congregated on the Capitol steps Friday afternoon.
The protesters gained national attention as they took a stand against what they are calling the “assembly-line executions” of seven death row inmates scheduled for next week.
The rally was held by the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and ended with a delegation from the coalition bringing thousands of signatures into the Capitol building. The petition calls on the governor to stop the executions.
Damien Echols, a former death row inmate who know walks as a free man, made a guest appearance at the rally with celebrity actor Johnny Depp, who was an advocate for Echols’ life and freedom
Echols and Depp both gave speeches at the rally.
Other speakers included State Representative Vivian Flowers (District 17); Furonda Brasfield, Executive Director of the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; Bishop Anthony Taylor, the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock; and Rita Sklar, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arkansas.
We spoke with a woman whose brother was executed in Arkansas as well as Damien Echols, who both shared their personal experiences on capital punishment.