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PNS Daily Newscast - July 19, 2018 


Efforts continue to quell the backlash over President Donald Trump’s changing statements on the Russia summit. Also on the Thursday rundown: protestors are out for Mike Pence’s visit to Missouri; and nobody wants to go, but one option is green burials.

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Fast at the U.S. Supreme Court

PHOTO: Activists are fasting at the U.S. Supreme Court this week to protest the death penalty. Jack Payden-Travers of Lynchburg is among them. Photo credit: Scott Langley
PHOTO: Activists are fasting at the U.S. Supreme Court this week to protest the death penalty. Jack Payden-Travers of Lynchburg is among them. Photo credit: Scott Langley
July 5, 2013

WASHINGTON - It has become an annual tradition. Over a four-day period, on the anniversary of Supreme Court cases involving the death penalty, activists fast at the court in protest of capital punishment. This year, the participants from Virginia, including Jack Payden-Travers, Lynchburg, said there is new momentum to end the death penalty in the state.

"The death penalty is ending. It's time for Virginia to end the death penalty. Six states have ended the death penalty in the last six years," he said.

Most recently, the death penalty was repealed in neighboring Maryland. Eight inmates are now on Virginia's death row, down from a peak of 57 in 1995.

Payden-Travers, a board member of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, cited the case of former death row inmate Justin Wolfe as proof of problems with the system. His murder conviction was overturned because prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that could have been used in his defense.

"He is the second person having been exonerated from Virginia's death row. It's time for Virginia to admit when we've made a mistake," Payden-Travers urged.

Wolfe remains in jail. In May, a federal appeals court ruled that Virginia prosecutors could pursue a new case against him.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - VA