by Terry Richards


“Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?”


LOS ANGELES, CA – The Death Penalty Focus 25th Anniversary Awards Dinner was held on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at the Beverly Hills Hilton and focused on once again bringing Before California Voters another Proposition to Abolish/Repeal the Death Penalty with life in prison without any chance of parole. To read about Death Penalty Focus and why the Death Penalty should be abolished, click onto link.  (All photos by Terry Richards, Columnist, Veterans News Service Los Angeles).

See especially 10 Reasons to Oppose the Death Penalty


In above photo Guests are enjoying their delicious stuffed chicken and vegetable dinner and great desserts along with stimulating conversations among one another.


Aundre’ (The Wonderwoman) Herron (above photo) was the evenings Host. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for Death Penalty Focus and, in the summer of 2007, was re-elected to a second three-year term on the ACLU National Board of Directors. In her spare time, Aundré is a successful stand-up comedienne with an impressive array of awards and credits.  To read more about Aundre’ click onto link.


The invocation was delivered by the Reverend Norman D. Copeland (above photo). Reverend Copeland has pastored across the Fifth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and has been God’s architect in building, refurbishing and renovating numerous churches. To learn more about Rev. Copeland click onto link.


President’s Remarks were made Mike Farrell,(above photo) President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Death Penalty Focus. Farrell then introduces a number of guests who were wrongly accused and eventually exonerated and freed from prison.  Farrell is best known for his acting as “B.J. Hunnicut” of televisions historic “M*A*S*H” and from NBC-TV’s “Providence”, and he is also a writer, director and producer. Farrell has also been a human rights activist for over 30-years. To learn more about Mike Farrell click onto  link.


Along with other Honored Guests having been wrongfully accused, Gloria Killian (standing in above photo) is Executive Director of Action Committee For Women in Prison and . Gloria served 17 1/2 years of a 32-year sentence until The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday reversed her conviction, saying it was based on false testimony by a convict who was hoping for a lighter sentence in return for helping prosecutors. To read more about Gloria Killian click onto  and


Mike Farrell Presents the 2013 Human Rights Award  posthumously to Norman Felton. The Award is accepted by Norman’s son, John Felton (in above & below photo), and to Norman’s companion of the past 15 years, Denise Aubuchon (in photo below).

Norman Felton’s involvement with the death penalty occurred under tragic circumstances. Repulsed as a child by witnessing crowds gathering outside Wadsworth Prison in London for a hanging, Norman had always believed that killing people was not the answer to crime. This belief was put to the ultimate test in 1982 when his youngest daughter, son-in-law and baby granddaughter were horrifyingly murdered. His immediate response to reporters at the time was “Our family has never believed in the death penalty and I can’t say at this moment, although I am torn by what has happened to my daughter, David and baby Jessica, that I can change the way I feel. Because if what I feel has any meaning, then am I going to change my beliefs because someone in my family is murdered? It would make it a ridiculous farce.”

To learn more about who Norman Felton was click onto links.


The 2013 Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award is present by Criminal Attorney David Evans (above photo) to Javier Stauring (below photo). To learn more about Stauring click onto link.



Executive Director of Death Penalty Focus Jeanne Woodford (above photo) speaks to dinner guests.


In above photo Executive Director Jeanne Woodford introduces Proposition 34 Campaign Manager Natasha Minsker and Presents


her with The 2013 Abolition Award for Proposition 34 Leaders and Activists. Then Minsker speaks to dinner guests and accepts the Award on behalf of the people named and in the photos below:  Obie Anthony, Arnold and Porter, LLP/Steven L. Mayer, Ron Briggs, California Catholic Conference, Inc./Ned Dolejsi, Executive Director,



Franky Carillo, Gil Garcetti, Miriam Gerace, Donald Heller, Paula Mitchell, Service Employees International Union Local721/Corrine Mposi, Steve Smith, Bethany Web. To learn more about Natasha Minsker , SAFE California, and PROPOSITION 34 Repeal of the Death Penalty for Life in Prison without any chance of Parole, click onto links. and 


Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat-Ohio) speaks to dinner guests about the abolishment of the death penalty, among other things. To learn more about Dennis Kucinich click onto links. and


In the above photo former Congressman Dennish Kucinich gets ready to present The 2013 Justice in the Arts Award to  James Cromwell in photo below. Writer’s Note: I feel that former Congressman Dennis Kucinich had the highest integrity of any Member of Congress I have ever known. And if we had 535 Members of Congress with the same integrity as Kucinich, the U.S. would not be in the financial mess and war problems that currently faces us, and there would virtually be no homeless Veterans!!! If Kucinich runs for President please Support and Vote for him…



Actor James Cromwell (above and below) speaks to dinner guests with some of the most controversial and stimulating conversation of the evening. To learn more about James Cromwell click onto links.