Walk Until They Don't Drop

The nice, easy alternative to supporting the dozen or so walkers trekking 800 miles from San Diego to Sacramento to stop state executions is pledging online. You'll get an anti-death-penalty T-shirt you might be brave enough to wear to work.

But maybe, like Tina Turner, you prefer doing things nice and rough, so you'll take the day off next Thursday to actually walk a few miles with these hardcore abolitionist pilgrims on their way from San Bernardino to Santa Ana. On the way, you can contemplate the person you'd be if you quit your job to join this otherwise average-seeming group, which includes a retired Air Force major, an ex-Peace Corps volunteer, a TV editor and, oh yeah, the guy exonerated after serving 24 years for a murder he didn't commit.

You could tell your boss you need some personal time, and when you got back to work ask your colleagues if they know California has the highest rate of capital punishment sentencing in the country, with nearly 700 men and women on death row. Not to put too fine a point on it, you might recount the story of exoneree Tom Goldstein, who will speak at the noon Civic Center rally and might never have been released if he'd been, well, executed. Just one argument by Amnesty International, Death Penalty Focus and the other “Walk to Stop Executions” sponsoring organizations, who are asking local district attorneys to stop seeking death penalty convictions.

Walk to Stop Executions arrives in Orange County at the Central Justice Center, 700 Civic Center Dr. W., Santa Ana, (714) 879-7663; walktostopexecutions.blogspot.com . Thurs., noon.

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