LifeLines 25th Anniversary Conference

September 17, 2013

Image of hands sticking out from a prison cell and a graphic of a white bird with text

LifeLines supports and befriends prisoners on Death Row throughout the United States, through letter writing. It is the first established organisation of its kind, and has spread both nationally and internationally, with members all over the world.

Conferences are held twice a year at which members can hear a guest speaker with expert or first-hand knowledge of issues related to the death penalty. The conferences take place in London every autumn and at a different regional venue each spring. They are a great way for members to get to know one another and meet like-minded people, and are always very sociable and inspiring gatherings.

LifeLines Autumn Conference – Saturday, 12 October 2013

Human Rights Action Centre, New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA

Doors open 10:00 am. Conference 10:30 am – 17:00 pm

Guest Speakers

LifeLines is pleased to welcome Ray Krone as a guest speaker in the morning of its 25th anniversary conference. Ray was convicted of murder in Arizona in November 1991 for a crime he did not commit and spent ten years in prison, two of them on death row. Ray was twice wrongly convicted of murder and after over 10 years he finally became the 100th prisoner to be exonerated since the reintroduction of the death penalty in 1976, and walked free in 2002. He is now a tireless campaigner for abolition, and was an inspiring and unforgettable guest speaker at a previous LifeLines conference.

Clive Stafford Smith OBE, Reprieve founder and director and the Patron of LifeLines. A British Lawyer, Clive has represented more than 300 prisoners facing the death penalty in the USA with an astonishing success rate. Clive also works with prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and other secret detention sites.

Jan Arriens, founder of LifeLines, will be speaking with Clive Stafford Smith.

Jan had the idea of LifeLines after he watched the BBC programme ‘Fourteen Days in May’ in November 1987, in which Clive Stafford Smith also took part, in his role as a lawyer to the prisoners. Jan wrote to the three men who were in the programme and surprisingly they wrote back to him. From those small beginnings LifeLines was founded.

Merrilyn Thomas: During the afternoon it is hoped that other speakers will be available including Merrilyn Thomas, a journalist with the Cambridge Evening News and whose report 25 years ago first attracted letter writers on a significant scale.


The Human Rights Action Centre (Amnesty UK) is fully accessible.

Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits will be available on arrival and during the afternoon break.

State Groups: The conference will commence with State Groups at 10.30 am. Writers will be able to meet with their state coordinators and ask questions etc. If you do not write to a state please feel free to join any of the groups if you wish to.

Advance booking for the Autumn Conference:

LifeLines recommends you book in advance. However, guests may pay on the day as long as there remain places available. LifeLines will issue everyone who books in advance with a confirmation slip which you need to bring as proof of payment.

Booking details can be found at Booking should be received no later than Friday, 4 October.

Conferences are open to everyone regardless of LifeLines membership.