January 17th of 2007 wasn’t just another day for Rachel Lawler. The Montpelier-based college student is a founding member of Vermonters Against the Death Penalty. She was arrested that day with other demonstrators and later convicted for protesting Capital Punishment on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.
January 17th was chosen because it marked the 30-year anniversary of the execution of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, the first execution since the High Court upheld a federal death penalty re-introduction in 1976.
Lawler spoke with VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb and said the objectives for protesting the death penalty were clear.