Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
P.O. Box 12222
Richmond VA 23241
Mission Statement Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (VADP) is a statewide citizens’ organization dedicated to educating the public about alternatives to the death penalty.
Web and Social Media
Board members at September 17, 2016 meeting
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Michael E Stone
Board Chair Kent Willis
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 12222
Richmond, VA 23241
Telephone 434 960-7779
Fax 434 xxxxxxx
E-mail office@vadp.org
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1993
Former Names
NameYear
VIRGINIANS AGAINST STATE KILLING1991
VIRGINIANS FOR ALTERNATIVES TO STATE KILLING1992
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $101,000.00
Projected Expenses $100,285.00
Statements
Mission Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (VADP) is a statewide citizens’ organization dedicated to educating the public about alternatives to the death penalty.
Impact
Virginia used to sentence 5-10 people to death each year and execute as many as 14 people annually. The Commonwealth has executed only one person in the past three years and no one has been sentenced to death in the past three years.
 
In the last two sessions of the General Assembly, VADP and its allies have mobilized citizens to oppose bills that would have made it easier for Virginia to carry out executions in the future.  All such measures were defeated in the legislature.
 
In the coming years VADP will organize citizens across the state to support legislation to reform our current system of capital punishment as recommended by a 2013 American Bar Association Virginia Death Penalty Assessment Team that included judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.
 
Our goal is to mobilize enough bipartisan support by 2020 to have a serious debate at the General Assembly on repeal of the death penalty.
Needs
Monetary support:
  •  VADP seeks to expand its current annual donor base so that we can hire a full-time field organizer to work in key legislative districts.
 Volunteers:
  •  People with expertise in social media and communications would be helpful to spread VADP's message to a wider audience.
  • People with fundraising expertise are needed to assist staff and board members in expanding our existing donor base.
  • An individual with experience in WordPress is needed to help update our existing web site. 
  • People who are willing to staff a VADP information table at community events are needed on an occasional basis. 
  • Volunteers are needed to assist with occasional office mailings.
 
Supplies/Miscellaneous:
  •  Donation of postage stamps and photocopying services would be very helpful to reduce our organizational costs.
 
Background

In September of 1991 a group of 22 people opposed to the death penalty gathered to organize against capital punishment. A 1989 survey conducted by the Center for Survey Research at Virginia Commonwealth University found that while Virginians supported the death penalty, support decreased to a minority when Virginians were given the alternative of life with no possibility of parole for a minimum of 25 years combined with restitution to the victims’ family.

 
On November 9, 1991 a steering committee of 13 people gathered and formed an organization dedicated to educating Virginians about alternatives to the death penalty.
CEO Statement
Many people begin their involvement in the abolition movement through participation in execution vigils. I was one of these people. Just a a few months after moving to Richmond in 1984, there was an execution at the old penitentiary in the heart of the city.
I joined the execution vigil that evening, standing silently with a candle along with forty others in front of the massive brick wall surrounding the penitentiary as cars whizzed by only feet away from us.
On the other side of this busy four lane road was a raucous group that held placards with ugly messages and yelled racist chants like “burn the N-word.”
In that moment my cool intellectual opposition to the death penalty became a passionate personal commitment. My Catholic faith told me that a public policy engendering such hateful and racist displays had to be evil and must be overturned.
In the 30 years since that evening I have learned much about the system of capital punishment in the United States. I have organized lobbying days at the Virginia General Assembly and led public education sessions on the death penalty.
I now feel privileged to be leading VADP twenty-four years after its founding in 1991. Together with the VADP board of directors, I am working to expand our base of support among the people of Virginia, especially among political conservatives.
Member engagement is a major priority in the coming year. I plan to have regional gatherings of VADP supporters in the spring and autumn. We are also having our first-ever awards luncheon on Saturday, October 10, 2015 to celebrate our accomplishments, honor key leaders, and energize supporters for the work that lies ahead.
Board Chair Statement

I can’t remember ever not being opposed to the death penalty, which is probably the reason I didn’t bother to explore why I felt that way until well into my adult years.

Over time, I became aware of the arguments for abolition — economic and racial inequities; the irreversibility of the death sentence; numerous documented cases of innocent people who have been executed or almost executed; and the fact that capital punishment does not deter killing, but may actually breed violence in our society.

It is hard to fathom now, but 150 years ago most of the people living in the United States supported or tolerated slavery and opposed women’s suffrage. Only 50 years ago, there were no civil rights laws prohibiting race discrimination in housing, employment or voting. And, ten years ago almost no one could have predicted that we were on the cusp of marriage equality.

I believe that one of the next great advances will be eradication of the death penalty. The Supreme Court may never (again) rule that the death penalty is unconstitutional. And Congress may never have the political will to abolish it at the federal level.

But organizations like VADP are successfully moving state elected officials across the nation to listen to their constituents and pass laws ending capital punishment.

At some point — in the near future, I hope — every state will have banned capital punishment or refuse to carry out executions, effectively eliminating the death penalty in the United States. I joined the VADP board to help make Virginia one of the next, not one of the last, to do that.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Area
Statewide
Commonwealth of Virginia
Board Chair
Board Chair Kent Willis
Company Affiliation Retired
Term Sept 2013 to Aug 2019
Email rkentwillis@gmail.com
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Virginia Podboy
Company Affiliation Private law practice
Term Sept 2014 to Aug 2017
Email virginia@railsidelaw.com
Board of Directors
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mary Atwell Radford University
RJ Bee Hattaway Communications
Nicholas Cote Right to Work Foundation
Emma Johnston Peakland United Methodist Church in Lynchburg
Kristina Leslie Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office
Adam Northup Capital One
Paul O’Shea Retired
Virginia Podboy Private Practice
Lauren Ramseur United Church of Christ
Ewan Watt Charles Koch Institute
Kent Willis ACLU of Virginia
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 5
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 78
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 67
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 3
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Michael E Stone
Experience
Prior to joining VADP, Michael worked as a Field Organizer for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. In that role, he worked with abolition organizations in Virginia, Missouri, South Dakota, and Pennsylvania.  He has spoken about capital punishment to faith communities and other organizations across the Commonwealth. He has also identified opponents to the death penalty among “unlikely allies” – including political conservatives and violent crime victims.
 
Michael also worked for 25 years in social ministry for Office of Justice & Peace for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond from 1984 to 2009.
 
Michael earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.A. degree in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College.
 
He is a former board member of the Virginia Catholic Conference and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Richmond Peace Education Center.
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Stephen Northup Jan 2011 - Dec 2014
Beth Panilaitis Jan 2008 - Dec 2010
Staff
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 12
Contractors 0
Plans
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan?
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Collaborations
VADP works very closely with the Virginia Catholic Conference and the ACLU of Virginia in its planning.  In addition, VADP has excellent relationships with attorneys whose practice is primarily related to capital cases.
Programs
Description VADP's ultimate goal is abolition of the death penalty in Virginia.  In the interim, VADP seeks reforms in our existing criminal justice system that have been recommended by the the 2013 ABA Virginia Death Penalty Assessment Report.  These reforms will make our system fairer and more transparent until we build the bipartisan support needed to abolish capital punishment.
Short Term Success In the 2014 session of the Virginia General Assembly, VADP and its allies worked to defeat a bill that would have made electrocution the default method of execution. In the 2015 legislative session, VADP and its allies mobilized widespread opposition to a bill that would have enabled the Department of Corrections to contract secretly with compounding pharmacies to obtain lethal injection drugs. All 32 Democrats and 24 Republicans in the House of Delegates voted to defeat this measure.
Long Term Success Virginia used to sentence 5-10 people to death each year and execute as many as 14 people annually. The Commonwealth has executed only one person in the past three years and no one has been sentenced to death.
Description
VADP educates people in the Commonwealth about the major problems in our existing death penalty system:
 
1. Innocence
Since the U.S. Supreme Court  allowed the death penalty to resume, there have been 153 people exonerated from death row.  These men and women were sentenced to death, but later vindicated before their execution was carried out.  In the same time frame, there have been approximately 1,400 executions.  That is a nearly an 11% rate of error, far too high for the ultimate punishment.
 
2. Arbitrariness
Race and geography play a huge role in the imposition of capital punishment.  In Virginia a person is more than three times as likely to be sentenced to death when the victim is white vs. when the victim is black.   In addition, the location of a homicide matters greatly.  65% of localities in Virginia have not had an execution since 1976.  Just three of the 133 political jurisdictions account for 23% of all of the state's executions -- Prince William, Chesterfield & Virginia Beach.
 
3. Cost
No cost study of the death penalty has ever been done in Virginia. Other states that have conducted studies have found that that a system with death as the maximum penalty costs significantly more than a system in which life imprisonment is the maximum penalty.
Description
VADP mobilizes death penalty opponents at regional meetings in northern Virginia, Charlottesville, Richmond, Norfolk, and Roanoke. These gatherings take place twice a year, in the spring and fall.
 
In addition, the VADP Executive Director is meeting with conservatives around the Commonwealth to discuss their views on capital punishment.  Conservatives around the country are questioning the effectiveness of the death penalty as public policy.
 
Mark Earley – a Republican Attorney General who oversaw 36 executions in Virginia – recently wrote about his conversion on the issue and declared his opposition to the death penalty.  He shared his story with VADP supporters at our October 10, 2015 awards luncheon in Richmond.
 
CEO/ED/Board Comments
VADP has a good core of major donors, a strong board of directors, and an Executive Director with over thirty years of successful advocacy and organizing experience here in Virginia.
VADP’s influence in the General Assembly has grown steadily through relationship building.  VADP and its allies are positioned to become a more powerful force in the next two years.
The biggest challenge to VADP is the development of allies among conservative leaders and Republican legislators.  Outreach efforts by the Executive Director has delivered some promising early results, but much more work needs to be done in this area.
Perhaps the biggest internal challenge for VADP is to grow grassroots funding so that we can hire a field organizer.  
Board diversity is a continuing challenge for VADP.  Although we have two libertarians and one African-American serving on the board, we still have a long way to go to creating a more politically and racially diverse leadership.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $101,000.00
Projected Expenses $100,285.00
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$77,296$36,777$62,154
Administration Expense$11,787$3,303$8,749
Fundraising Expense$7,415$4,937$5,158
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.151.610.75
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%82%82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue7%7%9%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$52,575$37,827$10,183
Current Assets$52,575$37,827$10,183
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$52,575$37,827$10,183
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 8/2015View
Comments
Foundation Comments
  • Financial analysis performed with Form 990.
  • Financial statements prepared internally by the organization.