Steven Hawkins Papers, 1991-2003
- Hawkins, Steven W.
- Records of Steven W. Hawkins's tenure as Executive Director of the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty. The papers include extensive minutes of board meetings, speeches, travel arrangements, fundraising and reception notes, and pamphlets and other papers relating to his attendance at various board and committee meetings with related organizations.
- 3.2 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Steven Hawkins Papers, 1991-2003. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to these records is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
- Scope and Content:
Steven Hawkins and his staff created these papers during his tenure as Executive Director of the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty (now known as the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty). The papers contain meeting subject files that include extensive minutes of board meetings, speeches, fundraising, reception notes, pamphlets, and other papers relating to his attendance at various board and committee meetings with related organizations, such as the Death Penalty Information Center and Amnesty International. The papers also contain copies of police reports, witness and investigator statements, and defendant testimony regarding the cases of certain high-profile death row inmates, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Delma Banks Jr., Wilburn Dobbs, Reginald Clemons, Clarence Allen Lackey, T. Makawanyane and Mchunu, Kenneth Reams. and Keith Versie. These inmate files were retained by Steven Hawkins and his staff in order to provide legal advocacy in court hearings to obtain commutation, clemency, or exoneration for these inmates.
The papers lack full biographical information about Mr. Hawkins, with the exception of a few mentions of his wife Wanda and details about his previous experience as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. The papers give many biographical details about the death row inmates included and some detail about some of the witnesses and investigators. Other than the founding date of the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty, no details exist in these papers as to the organization's general history before the mid-1990s, when Hawkins joined the staff.
- Biographical / Historical:
Steven W. Hawkins was the executive director of the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty (now known as the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) based in Washington, D.C. Hawkins has worked as an advocate for civil and human rights representing persons under death sentence in state, federal, and military courts across the country. He has provided commentary on the death penalty on The Today Show, CNN, Court TV, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and other major television news programs. Hawkins was selected as a Next Generation Leadership Fellow by the Rockefeller Foundation and received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Bar Association of New York for his advocacy on behalf of persons under sentence of death. His profession affiliations include the National Conference of Black Lawyers and the Center for International Studies at New York University, where he served on the board of trustees [Open Society Institute and Soros Foundations Network, "Past Events: OSI Forum: Supreme Decisions -- Re-Thinking the Death Penalty", http://www.soros.org/initiatives/justice/events/deathpenalty_20020718/event_biography_folder_initiative_view Accessed 14 September 2006].
The National Coalition Against the Death Penalty was started in 1976 and is a national organization dedicated to providing advocacy for inmates and other people affected by death penalty laws, such as families of prisoners and victims. The National Coalition Against the Death Penalty seeks to provide information to community members on death penalty issues, legal help for inmates to have their sentences either commuted or exonerated, encouragement for the media to provide accurate coverage of the death penalty, analysis and lobbying for legislative bodies to encourage them to abolish the death penalty, assisting local death penalty groups in their efforts and encouraging the global community to abolish the death penalty. The National Coalition Against the Death Penalty believes that the death penalty should be abolished based on four principles: that capital punishment denies the dignity and worth of every human being by preventing them from personal repentance and transformation, that capital punishment is irreversible but frequently fallible (as seen through DNA evidence), that capital punishment is consistently applied with racial and class prejudices against the defendants, and that capital punishment is a basic violation of international human rights laws. For additional information about the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty consult the organization's website at http://www.ncadp.org/about_us.html.
- Acquisition information:
All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Steven Hawkins in December 2004.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2006 September by Sean Heather McGraw (September 2006).