We remember Dominique Green, a young African-American executed on 27 October 2004. Our friendship with him inspired our commitment to the abolition of the death penalty

 On 27 October all the Communities of Sant'Egidio in the world remember Dominique Green and all those on death row so that capital punishment may soon be abolished throughout the world.
This young African-American, who was executed on this day in 2004, became a friend of the Community of Sant'Egidio through letters and inspired the abolition campaign.

Many stories of friendship have helped us to understand

By corresponding with death row inmates, we have come to know some of their stories. They are stories of poverty, similar to those of so many people we meet in different places in the world. We now have a clearer idea of how people end up on death row, and how they live in total segregation and with no hope.
The death row prison system subjects inmates to harsh treatment that demeans human dignity. Every time a prisoner leaves his/her cell for an interview or a shower, he/she undergoes a full body search.
The cells are very small, some inmates write that if they stretch out their arms they can touch the walls and ceiling. There is a lack of any kind of intimacy because the cells are closed off by a barred door. During the night, the lights stay on to allow constant control of the prisoners, and also the sudden and unprovoked searches of the cells contribute to maintaining high tension, which is also necessary for control.
Cells have " basic" furniture, bare and poor. There is a washbasin, a bunk, a toilet and a metal case where prisoners can store their belongings. Things that do not fit in are collected by the guards and thrown into the incinerator. The cell walls are made of concrete: in winter it is very cold and in summer it can be over 45 degrees. 
Many are the stories of pain in jails around the world where people have their lives taken. We believe that this evil - death at the hands of the state - absurdly still relevant in our century, must never cease to question us.

Learn more about Dominique's story on the website