Death Penalty internship

Hello my beautiful casa family! I haven't written on here in a while so I thought I would tell you about my plans for the summer as I need your help to achieve them!

As some of you already know I am a law student and have been looking for an internship to take part in over the summer, without which it will be almost impossible for me to find work in the field of law. The problem with this was that most internships are for huge companies/firms doing commercial/corporate law, which is not exactly ethical, and although experience in one of these firms would no doubt benefit my "career", I refuse to part of something that I don't believe in. This left me with a bit of a problem as ethical internships are few and far between. However, as luck would have it the human rights in practice centre at my university offers students the opportunity to take part in an internship in the US working on death penalty cases. After a long application process I succeeded in getting a place on the scheme and so will be working with the Public Defender Commission in Little Rock, Arkansas for two months during the summer! In my view the fact that we as a race are still putting people to death is one of the most fundamentally flawed aspects of any legal system and its abolition is something I feel very strongly about.

The work of the commission is extremely important as they provide advice and advocacy to those who can't afford it. In this situation the same state that is trying to convict you will arbitrarily chose a lawyer for you from a list of pro bono lawyers in the area. This decision will not be based on how much experience the lawyer has in capital punishment cases but how quickly the judge considers the lawyer will be able to get through the case. The majority of people who are convicted of capital punishment offences are from a lower income background and cannot afford adequate legal representation. This can lead to the most tragic miscarriages of justice as people are put to death simply because their lawyer wasn't good enough. In this system, money buys justice.

Unfortunately, as with most ethical work, the position is not paid. Not only this but I have to somehow find the money for flights, accommodation, visa and living expenses which comes to an estimated total of £2,500, which obviously I don't have. All the other people who got places are getting this money from their parents. I am neither willing nor able to get the money together this way and so have had to be a little more creative! Which is where YOU come in!

I have set up a crowd funding page in the hopes of raising the money from the generous people of the internet. In exchange for funding I am offering to conduct a piece of primary research through interviewing legal professionals who have on the ground experience of the process of how someone is convicted and put to death. I will be asking them about the fundamentals of the procedure and their views on reform and the future of the death penalty. I will also be writing a blog of my experiences so people can learn what the system is like first hand. I will send a copy of completed report and the blog to anyone who donates. The human rights in practice centre has also agreed to publish any work I produce so that it will be available to future students as a piece of primary research, something which is distinctly lacking in the area of capital punishment. I will also be giving a seminar/talk on my experiences to give future students insight into what the death penalty internship involves so anyone who is in the country at that time is also welcome to come along to that too!

If anyone has any questions about the project just write a comment and I will do my best to answer your questions. Here is the link to my crowd funding page, please pass it on to as many people as possible and if I get enough money together I will share my research on the casa site for all to see!

I don't want to miss out on such an amazing opportunity just because of a lack of funds. Anything that anyone can give will be HUGELY appreciated and I will send so much love and good energy to anyone who donates!

Also, if anyone knows of a casa-type project in Little Rock or anywhere that I can stay I would love to hear about it!

Thank you! Big love and massive hugs and lashings of good energy to you all xxx