News and events

 

What’s happening in lifespark’s world

Become a Member

Execution-petitions

(continually updated)

“Don’t kill im my name”
Raise your voice NOW!
A Governor will hear it

lifespark’s General Assembly 2024 in Berne

with members Apéro on April 20, 2024, 2pm 

The General Assembly 2024 is over. More infromation are available in the members’ area -> lifespark – organisationally.

Cities for life – cities against the death penalty
annual event in Lausanne: November 30, 2023

 

VILLES POUR LA VIE, VILLES CONTRE LA PEINE DE MORT

Stand d’information et récolte des signatures pour l’abolition de la peine de mort samedi 25 novembre et projection du documentaire «Un moment dans la vie de Hank Skinner» jeudi 30 novembre.

Stand: samedi 25 novembre 2023, de 9h à 13h. Place du 14 Juin (ex-Place de St-Laurent) 1003 Lausanne

Film: jeudi, 30 novembre 2023 à 19h. Pôle Sud, av. Jean-Jacques Mercier 3, 1003 Lausanne

Le film documentaire «Un moment dans la vie de Hank Skinner» présente les derniers jours cruciaux avant l’une des nombreuses dates d’exécution que Hank s’est vu annoncer, soit le 24 mars 2010. La Cour Suprême des Etats-Unis lui a accordé un sursis 25 minutes avant l’heure de l’exécution. La projection sera suivie d’une rencontre avec Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner veuve de Hank Skinner et militante de longue date contre la peine de mort.

Evénement co-organisé à Lausanne par la Communauté de Sant’Egidio, Amnesty International,

l’Action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture (ACAT) et lifespark

Pour plus d’info sur le film:  http://jordanfeldman.fr/hank-skinner-1.html

Pour plus d’info sur l’évènement : voir la brochure

Comment se rendre à Pôle Sud, Lausanne : plan de site

21TH WORLD DAY AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY

Observed every 10 October, the World Day Against the Death Penalty unifies the global abolitionist movement and mobilizes civil society, political leaders, lawyers, public opinion and more to support the call for the universal abolition of capital punishment. The day encourages and consolidates the political and general awareness of the worldwide movement against the death penalty.

On 10 October 2023, World Day will continue to reflect on the relationship between the use of the death penalty and torture or other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment and build on the momentum started in 2022!

As encountered last year, the types of torture and other ill-treatment experienced when sentenced to death are numerous: physical or psychological torture has been applied to force confessions to capital crimes; the death row phenomenon contributes to the long-term psychological decline of a person’s health; harsh death row living conditions contribute to physical deterioration; and methods of execution that cause exceptional pain. Further discriminations based on sex, gender, poverty, age, sexual orientation, religious and ethnic minority status and others can compound cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of individuals sentenced to death.

While the death penalty is currently tolerated by strict international law standards, and torture is entirely forbidden, it is more and more evident that the death penalty is inherently incompatible with the prohibition of torture.

Link to worldcoalition website

Friendships in US death cells

Sterbebegleitung im Todestrakt mit Ursula Corbin

Statement of Ursula Corbin (lifespark founder) at the GA 2023 April 1, 2023 (lifespark’s 30th birthday).

Click here to watch the video.

 

NZZ interview on August 30, 2022
with Ursula Corbin, lifespark founder.

Click here to read the NZZ article in German (original).

Click here to read the NZZ article in English (translation).

 

SRF2 interview in German on January 26, 2022
with Ursula Corbin, lifespark founder.

Click here to listen to the programme in German.

lifespark’s Anniversary General Assembly 2023
in Berne: April 1, 2023

Invitations has been sent out by letter.
For more details, see the calendar of events in the members’ area. (Login required).

Symbolic picture

Launch of the international poster competition “Draw me the abolition” for young people committed against the death penalty

On the occasion of the 20th World Day against the Death Penalty, 10 October 2022, young people from all over the world are invited to participate in the 6th edition of the “Draw me the Abolition” competition to design a poster against the death penalty. The 50 best posters selected by an international jury will be exhibited in the participating countries and during the next Congresses against the death penalty organised by ECPM. A trilingual exhibition catalogue will also be published to highlight the creativity and commitment of young people.
Participation in the competition is free of charge and open to young people aged between 12 and 25 from all over the world. The registration form must be completed by a referent adult (teacher, educator, association leader, etc.) and returned by email to education@ecpm.org before 31 march 2023.

The competition is organised by ECPM and the International Network for Abolition Education – RIEA (an informal grouping of associations (Algerian, German, Cameroonian, Congolese, French, Italian, Lebanese, Moroccan, Mauritanian, Taiwanese, Tanzanian and Tunisian) working to educate young people about the abolition of the death penalty by promoting the exchange of good practice and the development of collaborative educational tools at the international level.

 

CONTEST RULES

Are you interested to participate in the contest this year? The contest rules are available below!

See the Rules
 

REGISTRATION

The registration form must be returned by email to education@ecpm.org and completed by an adult (teacher, educator, association leader, etc.) if the participant is under 18 years old (21 yo for US participants).

Go to the registration form

Cities for life – cities against the death penalty
annual event in Lausanne: November 25, 2022

TOUTES ET TOUS A LAUSANNE LE VENDREDI 25 NOVEMBRE 2022 !

A l’occasion de l’évènement annuel « Villes pour la vie ; villes contre la peine de mort », vous êtes invité.es à une soirée de partage en tous genres !

  • Dès 17h30        Café de Grancy – Avenue du Rond-Point 1 · 1006 Lausanne (juste en dessous de la gare de Lausanne)
  • 18h45                « Départ » pour la Maison de Quartier Sous-Gare -Avenue Edouard Dapples 50 – 1006 Lausanne
  • 19h00                Début du spectacle « Signé : condamné à mort» donné dans le cadre de l’évènement annuel 30 novembre

Les associations Sant’Egidio, ACAT, lifespark, Amnesty International vous invitent le vendredi 25 à 19 heures

« Signé : condamné à mort »

Lecture de textes de prisonnier-ères et création musicale par Rita Gay, comédienne et Joséphine Maillefer, musicienne

Des moments durant lesquels les prisonnier-ères ont laissé voyager leur imagination à leur gré, récits lointains et proches à la fois, qu’ils/elles nous proposent d’accueillir en partage.

Ce spectacle nourrit des écrits de nos correspondant.es est unique, chaleureux et émouvant. Ne le manquez pas !

A très bientôt à Lausanne.

Lien au plan d’accès au Café Grancy et à la Maison de Quartier Sous-Gare (PDF)

Lien pour le  Flyer (PDF)

Execution is a new crime

Le Quotidien Jurassien interview on November 10, 2022
with lifespark member Sophie Dumortier.

Click here to read the Le Quotidien Jurassien article in French (original).

Click here to read the Le Quotidien Jurassien article in English (translated).

 

20TH WORLD DAY AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY

Observed every 10 October, the World Day Against the Death Penalty unifies the global abolitionist movement and mobilizes civil society, political leaders, lawyers, public opinion and more to support the call for universal abolition of capital punishment. The day encourages and consolidates the political and general awareness of the world-wide movement against the death penalty. 

As the 20th World Day Against the Death Penalty is marked around the world, now is a time to consider and celebrate the gains the abolitionist movement has made over the past 20 years. Now, more than ever, abolitionist actors need to continue working towards the complete abolition of the death penalty worldwide, for all crimes. 

On 10 October 2022, the World Day will be dedicated to reflecting on the relationship between the use of the death penalty and torture or other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment. 

Link to worldcoalition website

Reporter, September 14, 2022 9pm-9.40pm

Mein Brieffreund in der Todeszelle / My penpal on death row

SRF 1 14.09.2022 21:00-21:40Uhr · Schweiz 2022 · Info / Dok

Click the gearwheel, Subtitles -> English  /  Clicke das Zahnrad, Untertitel -> Deutsch 

Will man jemanden in sein Leben lassen, der in den USA zum Tode verurteilt wurde? Kann man mit einem Mörder befreundet sein? Vier Menschen erzählen, wieso sie ihre Brieffreundschaft mit jemandem in der Todeszelle noch nie bereut haben.

“Mein Name ist William Kopsho. Ich bin seit 21 Jahren im Gefängnis. Ich wurde zum Tod verurteilt, weil ich jemandem das Leben genommen habe”, sagt ein sympathisch wirkender Mann Mitte 60. Er hat in einem Streit seine Frau erschossen. Nun wartet er in einem Gefängnis im Bundesstaat Florida auf seine Hinrichtung. Einer seiner engsten Freunde wohnt im Kanton Bern. Patrik Gerber ist Mitte 20 und studiert Medizin. Kennengelernt haben sich die beiden über einen Verein namens “Lifespark”, der seit fast 30 Jahren Brieffreundschaften mit Menschen in der Todeszelle vermittelt. “Wenn Patrik Urlaub macht oder mit Freunden essen geht, schickt er mir Fotos”, erzählt William Kopsho der Sendung “Reporter”. “Das gibt mir das Gefühl, dabei zu sein. Und das ist wunderbar. Durch ihn fühle ich mich zwischendurch wie ein freier Mann. Zumindest in meinem Geist.” Patrik Gerber auf der anderen Seite ist durch die Freundschaft mit Kopsho klar geworden, was für ein Privileg es ist, frei zu sein: “Ich schätze und geniesse mein Leben jetzt viel mehr.” Die Tatsache, dass er es mit jemandem zu tun hat, der einen Menschen getötet hat, tut der Nähe keinen Abbruch. Das Delikt sei schnell in den Hintergrund getreten. Aus einem fremden Mörder wurde ein enger Freund. Reporter Simon Christen hat drei Frauen und einen Mann porträtiert, die in der Schweiz leben und einen Brieffreund haben, der in der Todeszelle sitzt. Was hat sie dazu motiviert, einen solchen Menschen in ihr Leben zu lassen? Was gibt ihnen dieser Kontakt? Und wie gehen sie damit um, dass es eine Freundschaft auf Zeit ist? Irgendwann wird der Tag der Exekution kommen. Dann dürfen die Gefangenen Menschen, die ihnen wichtig sind, einladen, dabei zu sein. Auch ihre Brieffreundinnen und Brieffreunde aus der Schweiz.

Ein Film mit deutschen und englischen Untertiteln von
Simon Christen

Would you want to let someone into your life who has been sentenced to death in the USA? Can you be friends with a murderer? Four people talk about why they have never regretted their pen-pal relationship with someone on death row.

“My name is William Kopsho. I have been in prison for 21 years. I was sentenced to death for taking someone’s life,” says a pleasant-looking man in his mid-60s. He shot his wife in an argument. Now he is awaiting execution in a Florida state prison. One of his closest friends lives in the canton of Bern. Patrik Gerber is in his mid-20s and is studying medicine. The two got to know each other through an association called “lifespark,” which has been arranging penpalships with people on death row for almost 30 years. “When Patrik goes on vacation or out to dinner with friends, he sends me photos,” William Kopsho tells the program “Reporter.” “It makes me feel like I’m there. And that’s wonderful. He makes me feel like a free man at times. At least in my mind.” Patrik Gerber, on the other hand, has realized through his friendship with Kopsho what a privilege it is to be free: “I appreciate and enjoy my life much more now.” The fact that he is dealing with someone who has killed a human being does not detract from the closeness. The crime quickly faded into the background, he says. A stranger who was a murderer became a close friend. In this documentary, reporter Simon Christen portrays three women and one man who live in Switzerland and have a pen pal on death row. What motivated them to let someone like that into their lives? What do they get out of the relationship? And how do they deal with the fact that it is a friendship for a limited time? At some point, the day of execution will come. Then the prisoners are allowed to invite people who are important to them to be there. That includes their penpals from Switzerland.

A film with English and German subtitles by
Simon Christen

Tele 1 Fokus interview with our member Beatrice

Watch the Tele 1 Fokus interview with our member Beatrice, recorded on December 20 2021. In the interview, Beatrice talks about her long friendship with her penfriend Oscar.

Go to our subpages

Home

Go back to our home page!

about lifespark

Find out more about us. See our mission, history and information about our board members and taskholders.

being a penpal

Find out all about becoming a penpal.

The Death Penalty

Find out about the death penalty in the USA, especially arguments for and against it. There is a lot to learn!

Contact and Members only

When you join lifespark, you get access to the members’ area of the site, with all kinds of useful information about penfriendships and our organization.