lifespark - movement against the death penalty

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Welcome to lifespark

lifespark is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 and based in Basel, Switzerland. One of our main goals is to arrange penpalships to inmates on death row in the USA. Currently we have about 350 members worldwide and have connected about 1500 penpalships in the past 22 years. Find out more about who we are.


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Building bridges – the experience of a penpalship

"I have been alone in my life and ok with that. But now I need this more than anything else in the world: To talk to someone and give all I am to them and for them to agree or disagree. I need you not to feel pity for me but the truth so I can see myself better. I also need to get it out, to tell it as it happened to me and what I thought and felt so someone knows the truth cause I told it to them, and they are only here to be my friend."
Mike, on death row for 15 years

“My pen friend has accepted me solely on the basis that I’m a human being. Her pictures, letters and friendship bring hope and light to me in this dark, negative and isolated place.”

B. R. Olan, Texas, on death row for 7 years

Find more experience-reports and interviews from inmates and members.


“To me, the correspondence is a mixture of bitter  pills and sweet surrender. In short, a story that only life could come up with.”
C. Conrad., lifespark member

“First I worried if my English would be good enough and what I’m going to do if he lies to me or only wants my money. But with his first letter I lost all my fears.”

M. Hubert, lifespark member


Explore our website

You wonder what a correspondence can look like, how you can start one or how to deal with crimes and executions? Check our FAQs.

You can also find out what service we offer to our members for their penpalships and more about upcoming events and projects in lifespark.

Discover our list of    online-videos, books and films and other media related to capital punishment and individual death penalty cases!


We have also collected   arguments against the death penalty as well as  links to related organizations and activists.

For members only: practical information for penpalships (prisions, visists, money etc.) and lifespark’s internal functioning, lifespark’s newsletters, pictures of events, tips for interviews and presentations and much more.

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