Former San Quentin Warden Jeanne Woodford is to become the executive director of Death Penalty Focus. The L.A. Times reports:

On Thursday, the abolitionist nonprofit Death Penalty Focus will announce Woodford’s appointment as executive director, a new role that will see her standing on the other side of the walls of San Quentin should any of the 713 death row inmates meet his or her end at the hands of the state.

“I never was in favor of the death penalty, but my experience at San Quentin allowed me to see it from all points of view. I had a duty to carry out, and I tried to do it with professionalism,” Woodford, 56, said in explaining how she had to put her personal abhorrence of execution aside to do her job. “The death penalty serves no one. It doesn’t serve the victims. It doesn’t serve prevention. It’s truly all about retribution.”


  1. I suppose her appointment is a good move for Death Penalty Focus to make inroads among State insiders and people in power. Not such a good move, however, for involving most regular people in the organization's work. It's another example in Death Penalty Focus's recent history that shows the organization is not all that concerned with, or focused on, organizing grassroots opposition to the DP.

  2. I suppose this is a good move for Death Penalty Focus in order to consolidate connections with government insiders and people in power.

    Not so good, however, for attracting regular people to participate in the organization. Woodford is not exactly reflective of communities most affected. Perhaps being a grassroots, broad-based organization is not a primary concern of the organization at this time.

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