The Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide (CCDPW) is the only organization defending women on death row around the world. Women are sentenced to death for killing their abusers after lifetimes of gender-based violence. We are training capital defense lawyers, conducting research to enlighten policy makers and courts, and working directly with women themselves to tell their stories.
We need your help to get women the justice they deserve.
CCDPW was part of the legal team that helped save Melissa Lucio from execution in April 2022. We continue to fight for her release
Our client in Tanzania, Evelyn (name changed) is facing execution for saving her own life. Evelyn’s husband, Nchama, beat her relentlessly throughout the 16 years of their marriage. He beat her with sticks and fists and cut her with knives. He damaged her internal organs to the point where she required hospitalization. He also broke one son’s hand, stabbed another son, and beat their daughter so badly that she suffered a fistula. On 9 November 2017, Nchama came home drunk and said that he was going to kill her. After waiting until their children went to bed, he began to beat her with a hammer. Evelyn wrenched away the hammer that her husband wielded and struck him, a blow that ultimately killed him. The court rejected Evelyn’s explanation that she acted in self-defense, and sentenced her to death.
By supporting CCDPW, you are taking a stand against extreme sentencing and intersectional discrimination. You are supporting women like Evelyn who have suffered for years under legal systems that ignore gender-based violence. Join us today, and help us on the path to a future where abolition of capital punishment is the new normal and extreme sentencing is replaced with justice practices centered on restoration and healing instead of retribution and punishment.
Costs for a case like Evelyn’s
- $3,000 to local lawyer to defend Evelyn
- $1000 for transportation costs to track down witnesses to the violence she suffered at the hands of her husband
- $1000 to an investigator to interview witnesses
- $1500 to a psychologist to evaluate the mental health consequences of her abuse
- $2,500 for a research associate to conduct research and write legal briefs for women’s appeals
- $2,700 to print and distribute training materials to enable gender sensitive legal representation
Lisa Montgomery was an severely mentally ill woman and the victim of a lifetime of torture, extreme sexual violence, and unspeakable abuse. She was failed by countless individuals and institutions in her life before ultimately being executed by the Trump Administration. We carry Lisa's memory and her story with us, reminding us of the deep necessity of our workrr
For years, CCDPW has engaged in advocacy, research, public education, and targeted litigation on behalf of the estimated 30,000 people worldwide facing execution.
Join us in this struggle. Support Evelyn and the hundreds of women like her facing execution around the globe.