ABOUT US

When We Started and What We Do

Founded in 1977, the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (ACADP) is a non-partisan, non-sectarian coalition of religious and civic organization and concerned citizens working together to end capital punishment in Arkansas.

Our ultimate goal is for the General Assembly of Arkansas to pass and the Governor sign into law a bill striking the death penalty from the criminal sentencing statutes of our state.

ACADP is the only organization in the state whose work is focused exclusively on the abolition of capital punishment in Arkansas.

ACADP STAFF

Furonda Brasfield

Executive Director

Furonda Brasfield is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (ACADP), the only organization devoted primarily to abolition in the state. In her capacity as Director, Furonda manages the day to day functions of ACADP, including community organizing, development, and policy development. Furonda led the group during their response to the #8in10 executions of April 2017, when Governor Asa Hutchinson set 8 executions to be carried out over 10 days, beginning with the day after Easter. Prior to joining ACADP, Furonda worked on a number of social justice issues, including economic equality, reproductive justice, HIV/AIDS awareness, criminal justice reform, and raising the state’s minimum wage (2014). She has also served as interim-director of “Traveler’s Rest Ministries”, a non-profit organization formed to assist in community development in disenfranchised communities.

A licensed attorney, Furonda received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen Law School.

In addition to numerous volunteer and civic involvements, Furonda is a member of Decarcerate, the Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System Steering Committee, the NAACP, WAND, The League of Women Voters, and Longley Baptist Church.

Cheryl Woodard

Treasurer

Before moving to Arkansas 2009, Cheryl Woodard owned a magazine business consulting practice based in California. Changing gears, she worked for a North Little Rock CPA firm for seven years, retiring in 2016. She’s the daughter of an Episcopal priest and has been a practicing Buddhist for 40 years. Currently, Cheryl is president of the Ecumenical Buddhist Society of Little Rock where she teaches and leads meditation programs. Besides ACADP, Cheryl also volunteers with AARP TaxAide.

Karen DiPippa

Board Member

Karen DiPippa is the Director of the Westside Free Medical Clinic, Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, where she has served since 1989. Social Justice has been a focus throughout Karen’s life and her opposition against the death penalty began in the late ‘70’s. Like health care reform, Karen hopes for abolition but also a real reform, including rehab. during prison sentences and full restoration upon release. Karen holds a B.S. in Health Education and an M.A. in Pastoral Studies/ Theology. Karen is also a certified pharmacy tech.  Karen serves as a founding member on the board of the Arkansas Coalition of Charitable Clinics. Karen is happily married to John DiPippa, and she is the mother to four sons and grandmother to 7.

Rev. Phillip A. Reaves

Board Member

Father Phillip Reaves is a Priest serving as director of prison ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock. In addition to prison ministry, Father Reaves has served as associate pastor and pastor in parishes around Arkansas. Father Reaves has a BSBA in Accounting from UA, Fayetteville and a Masters of Divinity from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, La. As part of his pastoral ministry, Fr. Reaves has been celebrating Mass for prisoners for 20 years. He has also served as a certified religious assistant, CRA, for several Department of Corrections facilities around the state for almost 15 years. While serving in parishes, Father Phillip has served on Diocesan boards, Hospital medical ethics board, Crisis center for battered women board and been active in ministerial alliances.

Katherine Sanderson Streett

Board Member

Katherine (Kate) Sanderson Streett was born in Camden, AR, a long time ago (during the Kennedy Administration). She received a B.A. in Political Science and French at the University of AR, Fayetteville. In 1991, she graduated Tulane Law School i, becoming the first of several cousins to make up the fifth generation of lawyers in the Streett family. Her first job out of law school was at Dakota Plains Legal Services on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. In 1992, Kate decided that she missed the South in general and Arkansas in particular and came home to work for Legal Services of Arkansas in El Dorado. In 1995 she worked as a contract public defender in Union, Ouachita, and Calhoun Counties with (now Circuit Judge) David Talley prior to the consolidation of the public defender system. In 1998, she was appointed by the AR Public Defender Commission (APDC) as managing attorney for the 13th District Public Defender’s Office, a six county district comprised of Dallas, Calhoun, Cleveland, Columbia, Ouachita, and Union Counties in south Arkansas. From 2004-05, along with Teri Chambers, Kate defended Gayla Smith-Wilson who was charged with capital murder in the beating death of an 81 year old nursing home resident, resulting in two hung juries; and the charges were dropped. In 2007, Kate was transferred to the Capital, Conflicts Office at the ADPC main office to work exclusively on capital cases. In 2009, along with co-counsel Teri Chambers and Lott Rolff, Kate helped to obtain a life without parole sentence for Curtis Vance in a case involving the death of television reporter Anne Pressly. In 2014, with Teri Chambers and Gina Reynolds, Kate defended Aaron Kinsey against two capital murder charges in a case involving allegations of Satanism and the use of a machete as the murder weapon, which resulted in convictions on lesser offenses. In 2018, Kate moved to the new Capital Trial Office to work with local public defenders on capital cases and to provide additional conflict counsel in multiple-defendant cases. 

Elizabeth Alderman

Board Member

Elizabeth is a retired educator who spent her working years in New York State. A native Arkansan, she relocated to Hot Springs upon retirement. Elizabeth has two married sons, a grandson, a granddaughter, and a great-granddaughter.  Her grandson lives in Benton, and she enjoys frequent visits with him. Elizabeth is an active member of First United Methodist Church where is on the Sunday School Class’s teacher rotation.  She is a member of the Morning Glories Bible Study Group and attends other short term studies at church.  For several years she served as a facilitator for the Getting Ahead Program. Elizabeth has been a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Garland County Children in the custody of the court. She is a member of the Arkansas Chapter of Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) and it is through that group that she learned about ACADP.  She represents MFSA on the ACADP Board.

Elizabeth feels strongly about the inhumanness of the death penalty and feels that, “As civilized persons, we must seek other forms of correction and/or punishment.”

 

 

 

 

 

Tricia Russell

Board Member

Since 1997, Tricia Russell, has been a tireless advocate for abolishing the death penalty.  While enrolled at Cornell Law School she became involved with the Death Penalty Trial and Capital Habeas clinics and has never stopped fighting. Tricia has represented indigent clients facing the death penalty at trial, on appeal and in state and federal post-conviction proceedings in over ten states and numerous federal courts across the country. In 2008, she and her team overturned a death sentence in federal habeas proceedings which resulted in a life verdict on resentencing. In 2017, Tricia moved to Little Rock, Arkansas where she currently is an attorney and supervises the capital mitigation division of the Arkansas Public Defender Commission.

Anisha Phillips

Board Member

Anisha Phillips was born and raised in various sections of East Little Rock (now known as East Village). She is a proud product of the Little Rock School District, having graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 2003. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York, New York. She then went on to receive her Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, Arkansas, during which time she served as the Student Coordinator of the Innocence Project Clinic.

She went on the serve as a Law Clerk at the Arkansas Court of Appeals for Judge Waymond M. Brown. She is currently a Research and Writing Attorney with the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan D. Davis

Board Member

Ryan D. Davis the director of UALR-Children International, an International non-profit organization that works toward significant and transformational change in the lives of children, youth and families. UALR-Children International serves more than 3,000 children and youth in Central Arkansas. Ryan Davis is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Davis is an advocate for children, who represent the only future we have. Ryan Davis is an ordained elder in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Associate Pastor at Bullock Temple C.M.E. Church.

He is the grateful husband of Kimberly King Davis and the proud father of Delaney Davis (10), Sarah Davis (8), and Ella Davis (5).

 

Herb Rule

Board Member

Herb Rule was born 1November 21, 1937, in Little Rock,  AR. He attended Yale University where he was 
a member of Beta Theta Phi; played lacrosse; sang in the Bakers’ Dozen and Yale Whiffenpoofs; and spent summers on Navy training duty in Quantico, VA. Herb has served in the US Marine Corps, and served in Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and North Borneo.
 
Herb attended Law School at the University of Arkansas and graduated third in his class. From 1964- 2012, Herb practiced commercial and real estate law at  Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, specializing in jury trials.  He became committed to repeal of the Death Penalty in 1968, when he served as co-defense lawyer in 1969 for a man charged with murder, whom the jury convicted and sentenced to death, but whose sentence was commuted to life without parole by Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller.
 
Herb was one of the founding members of  ACADP and has been a member ever since. Herb was also involved in continued de-segregation efforts of the Little Rock Public Schools. Herb served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1966-70, and in the 1967 session he sponsored a bill to abolish the death penalty that was voted on in the House. 
 
Herb is a member of Second Presbyterian Church–where he has served as Elder and Deacon and taught adult and youth classes. 
 

Dr. George Simon

Board Member

Dr. George Simon has gained worldwide recognition as one of the foremost authorities on manipulation and
disturbances of personality and character. He is a bestselling author who has appeared on national radio
and television programs, including Fox News Network CNN, MSNBC, HBO, and CBS. Dr. Simon’s first book,
In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People, has been published in over 20
foreign languages, is in its 22nd domestic printing, and has been a 5-star-rated Amazon since its debut. His
second book, Character Disturbance is also a bestseller and enjoys a 5-star reviewer rating on Amazon. His first
book targeted to the Christian faith community, The Judas Syndrome, released by Abingdon Press, and his
book How Did We End Up Here? with co-author Dr. Kathy Armistead are also 5-star rated bestsellers.
Dr. Simon has over 25 years experience working with character-impaired individuals and those who have
found themselves in relationships with such persons.

George has given over 300 instructional seminars and workshops and has also consulted to various businesses,
agencies, and organizations seeking his expertise on character disturbance. He has written hundreds of
online articles on character issues and other important psychology topics, which can be found on several
popular blogs such as www.maniplative-people.com and www.counsellingresource.com.

Dr. Simon received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Texas Tech University and until his retirement 5
years ago, maintained an active private therapy practice. He also formerly served as a supervising psychologist
for the Arkansas Dept. of Correction, providing clinical oversight for 6 years to the community risk assessment
program for registered sex offenders, and subsequently for an expanded and clinically re-vamped prison-based
sex offender treatment program. In addition to giving numerous instructional seminars on the various sex
offender typologies and the parameters of effective offender treatment and management strategies, he
helped secure a U.S. Dept. of Justice grant awarded through the Center for Sex Offender Management, and
served as a member of the grant’s standing committee. Dr. Simon was appointed by the governor to four terms
on the Arkansas Commission on Domestic Abuse, Rape and Violence (ACCARDV), is a past President of the
Arkansas Psychological Association (Distinguished Service Award) is a full clinical member of the
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA and ARATSA), is the recipient of the ARATSA
lifetime achievement award, and is a Board Certified Diplomate (ACFEI) in the areas of Forensic and Clinical Psychology. 

Dr. Simon is married to Dr. Sherry Simon, a veteran independent practitioner, and has two sons and two grandchildren.
 More information on Dr. Simon can be found at his website: www.drgeorgesimon.com.