Dedicated to Finding Alternatives to the Death Penalty for Over a Decade
Unitarian Universalists for Alternatives to the Death Penalty was organized in November, 1996 (as Unitarian Universalists Against the Death Penalty) and is an independent group of Unitarian Universalists.
We are a social action group, seeking to give witness to the six UUA resolutions calling for an end to capital punishment. These resolutions on the capital punishment and other related statements of conscience were adopted in 1961, 1966, 1974, 1979, 1989, and 2005. They are the official positions of the denomination made by the democratically elected delegates to the annual General Assemblies.
We are grateful for the enthusiastic support we have received from our denomination, particularly the UUA Faith in Action Office for Justice Programs, and the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility.
Our members come from 43 different states. We are reaching out to all UU congregations, and working to increase membership so that our work may continue effectively.
More Information on Unitarian Universalists for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
- Unitarian Universalists for Alternatives to the Death Penalty Brochure (pdf)
- Newsletters (pdf)
Board of Directors
President: Mac Goekler
Mac Goekler is a member of Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware and chairs the UU Peace Ministry Network, a Unitarian Universalist group dedicated to building a culture of peace. He is a retired manufacturing executive and resides in Rehoboth Beach, DE with his spouse Susan.
Treasurer: Arthur Thexton
Arthur Thexton is a career prosecutor in a state without the death penalty. He is Vice President of the Wisconsin Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and a member of the James Reeb Unitarian-Universalist Congregation, Madison.
Secretary: Robert Bacon
Bob Bacon is a lawyer who represents death-sentenced prisoners. He lives in Oakland, California, and is a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco.
Directors: Rev. Cathy Harrington
In 2004 Cathy Harrington’s 26-year old daughter, Leslie, was murdered in a brutal attack in her own home. It was Halloween night when the killer broke in, also taking the life of another of Leslie’s housemates. A year later, after an extensive police investigation, Eric Copple admitted to the crimes. Copple is now serving two life sentences with no right to appeal. Cathy is a Unitarian Universalist minister serving the Chattanooga church. Since her daughter’s murder Cathy has devoted herself to campaigning for a fairer judicial system.
Don Peterson is a member of the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware, where he has served as Chair of the Social and Environmental Justice Committee. He has been a member of the Delaware Repeal Project and is active in several local social justice organizations..
Martha “Marty” West is professor emerita, University of California Davis Law School, where she taught employment law, labor law, and gender discrimination law from 1982 to 2007. She joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis in 2006, and served on the board from 2011 to 2014, chairing the board in 2013-14. She grew up as a pacifist in the Church of the Brethren, strongly opposed to the death penalty, and participated in the recent California campaign to abolish the death
Mandy Goheen is the Director of Prison Ministry and the Worthy Now Network at the Church of the Larger Fellowship serving over 730 incarcerated UUs across the United States. In addition to two monthly death row visits, Mandy attends execution vigils and actions in Alabama. She is a candidate for Unitarian Universalist Ministry and attends Starr King School for the Ministry. Mandy is originally from Southern Ohio and now lives in Montgomery with her spouse, six children and two dogs.