Pennsylvania Observer

A blog for progressive people in Pennsylvania. Greens, Democrats and others who want to comment on current news items in the Keystone State.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Rendell Prepares for his First Execution

Rendell Prepares for his First Execution. On Thursday, for the first time since the death penalty was reinstated, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is scheduled to execute a man against his will. Governor Rendell, a strong supporter of state-sponsored executions, is unlikely to lift a finger to stop this killing.

George Banks was convicted of killing 13 people in Wilkes-Barre in 1982. He has been on death row since 1985. His case is particularly heinous. Of the 13 people he killed, 7 of them were children. Five of them were his own. Justice demands that Banks should pay for his crime. But executing Banks is not justice. "The execution of George Banks, now 62 years old, will provide nothing for the citizens of Pennsylvania," said Kurt Rosenberg of the Pennsylvania Abolitionists United Against the Death Penalty. "His killing will be an empty act of state-sponsored murder and revenge, disguised as justice."

Many death penalty opponents are urging opposition to the Banks execution on the grounds that he has serious psychological problems, questioning his ability to stand trial. They point to his frequent delusional behavior, including writing to Jesus Christ whom he believes live in Washington, DC, six suicide attempts and prolonged hunger strikes.

Other abolitionists say that his metal health status does not matter. They say that a civilized society should not intentionally kill anyone. The Observer agrees. As the old chestnut goes, "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?"

There will be demonstrations across Pennsylvania on Thursday from 5:00 until 7:00 PM if the execution has not been stayed.
Locations and contact info:
Philadelphia: 200 South Broad Street (near Broad and Walnut). (215-724-6120)
Pittsburgh: 300 Liberty Avenue. (412-241-8154)
Harrisburg: Governor's Residence, 2nd and Maclay Streets. (717-514-2747)
Erie: Location TBA. (814-453-4955, ext. 228)
Lehigh Valley: Location TBA. (610-691-8730)

While you’re contacting Rendell about the Teamsters’ Turnpike strike, send him another message. Urge him to stop the execution.
Contact Governor Rendell:
Governor Edward G. Rendell's Office
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
(717) 787-2500


  • At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    letter to Gov. Rendell:
    Let's have our government set a good example for our people. Stay George Banks's execution. Given his past conduct, Mr. Banks should not be on our streets for at least another hundred years, but coldly, dispassionately murdering a murderer is pointless, immoral and not good public policy.

  • At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    well said

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