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February 24, 2006

Former Black Panther Lawrence Hayes Speaks at Farmingdale State

On Thursday, March 9 at 11:00 a.m., the Sociology and Anthropology Club of Farmingdale State University of New York presents Lawrence Hayes in a Death Penalty Discussion.

Lawrence Hayes was born and raised in Harlem. In 1968 he became a member of the Black Panthers. In 1971, he was arrested and convicted for "acting in concert" in the murder of a police officer. He was on death row in New York until his sentence was commuted to life with parole. In 1972, in the Furman v. Georgia decision, the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty and Hayes' sentence was commuted to life with parole. The Gregg v. Georgia Supreme Court ruling reinstated the use of the death penalty in 1976.

Since his parole in 1991, Hayes has devoted himself to speaking out against the death penalty. He is co-founder of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and was featured in the movie "Deadline." He is a member of the international abolition organization, Hands Off Cain. Hayes has dedicated his life to ending the death penalty and feels that, "Life should be held above death; there is no excuse or reason to kill anyone, anywhere."

The death penalty has long been a source of controversy; this year marks 30 years since the Gregg v. Georgia decision. Lawrence Hayes is sure to engage the audience in a stimulating discussion on the death penalty debate. This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Sociology Club, it will be held in Gleeson Hall, Room 202. For more information, contact Carol Fealey, Department of Sociology/ Anthropology, 631-420-2669 or Kathy Coley at 631-420-2400.