Statesman Journal: 'M*A*S*H' Actor keynotes anti-death penalty event

Today, a man originally on death row was supposed to be freed," actor and activist Mike Farrell said before a meeting of death penalty opponents.

Farrell was in the area Friday to address the Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty at the group's annual meeting and banquet.

The man he was talking about, Albert Woodfox, 68, is the last remaining member of the Angola 3 to still be incarcerated. The former Black Panther has been held on death row, and in solitary confinement, for 43 years. Earlier this week, a U.S. district court judge ordered that Woodfox be released and declared that the State of Louisiana cannot try him a third time. However, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell appealed that decision, causing Woodfox to remain in custody past his anticipated Friday release date.

"That is simply unjust," Farrell said. "Woodfox is one dramatic example of what's wrong with our criminal justice system."

Farrell spoke at the event, held at the Keizer Civic Center, about many issues surrounding the topic of capital punishment and the American prison system at large.
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Keynote speaker Mike Farrell, President of California's Death Penalty Focus, talks with guests prior to the Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty meeting on Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Keizer Civic Center. Farrell, an actor best known for his role in the television series M*A*S*H, is a longtime opponent of the death penalty. (Photo: DANIELLE PETERSON / Statesman Journal)

Also speaking at the meeting were fellow abolition activists Danielle Fulfs, program director of the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and Becky O'Neil McBrayer, program manager at St. Andre Bessette Church in downtown Portland.

Best known for his role as Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt on the classic TV series "M*A*S*H" and as Dr. Jim Hansen in the series "Providence," Farrell has been president of Death Penalty Focus in California since 1994 and is a frequent speaker and writer about the injustices of capital punishment.

Natalie Pate, Statesman Journal 8:20 p.m. PDT June 12, 2015




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