Wanger named 'Abolitionist of the Century'

The Journey of Hope, long a leading international organization seeking the abolition of the death penalty in America, has named Michigan attorney Eugene G. Wanger as “Abolitionist of the Century.”

Presenting the award to Wanger at the group’s leadership awards ceremony held Oct. 12 at the Columbus Athenaeum, the group’s president William Pelke said, “There is so much to recognize Gil...for, but his most enduring contribution to the cause of abolition came when he was a Delegate to the Michigan Constitutional Convention of 1961 and authored the section in today’s Michigan constitution that bans the penalty of death. Michigan is the only state in the country to expressly prohibit capital punishment in its state constitution.”

Wanger’s abolitionist activities as long-time co-chair of the Michigan Committee Against Capital Punishment were detailed in his book, Fighting the Death Penalty, recently published by the Michigan State University Press and named one of the 25 most important books of the year by the American Library Association.

His collection of material on the subject, long considered the largest in private hands in America, has been digitized by HeinOnline for electronic distribution to libraries worldwide. His 937-page annotated bibliography of the collection has been published in hardcopy by William S. Hein & Company; and the collection itself is housed in the National Death Penalty Archives at the State University of New York at Albany The Lansing resident has previously been honored as a “Champion of Justice” by The State Bar of Michigan for his historic death penalty work. He has written numerous publications on historical and governmental subjects, and headed historical organizations.

The Journey of Hope ... From Violence to Healing, has since 1993 conducted speaking tours against capital punishment led by murder victim’s family members and former death-row inmates who have been proved innocent and freed.

For further information,visit http://deathpenaltyaction.org/journeyofhope.

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