Board of Directors

Mike Farrell, President

Mike Farrell is an actor and a human rights and social justice advocate. He has traveled the country, speaking, writing and lobbying against the death penalty for over three decades and has been president of the board of directors of Death Penalty Focus for over 20 years.

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Stephen Rohde, Chair of the Board

Stephen Rohde is a constitutional lawyer, lecturer, writer and political activist. He is chair emeritus of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California; immediate past chair of Bend the Arc, a Jewish Partnership for Justice; past president of the Beverly Hills Bar Association; and is a founder of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace.

Joe Baker, Vice Chair of Outreach

Joe Baker is Care2's vice president of advocacy and editorial. He oversees Care2's advocacy work, its campaigns for nonprofit partners, and its editorial content.

Virginia Van Zandt, Vice Chair of Development

Virginia Van Zandt joined DPF’s board in 1992. She has been a non profit professional in the Bay Area for 30 years, serving as administrative director for Bay Area Video Coalition, Director of Development for the California College of the Arts and Youth Law Center, Executive Director for the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center and development consultant to many other non-profits. Virginia served on the Board of Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, and served as Death Penalty Focus’s Interim Executive Director in 2013.

Garland Allen, Treasurer

Garland Allen is the former Chicago Market Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's state and local tax consulting practice and before that was a tax partner in the Chicago law firm of Hopkins & Sutter (now Foley & Lardner).

Mark Kimber, Secretary

Mark Kimber is the past-President of the Salinas Steinbeck Rotary Club, the founder of a travel agency in Salinas, a volunteer with the Marine Mammal Center, and a certified skydiving instructor.

Robyn Barbour

Robyn Barbour is a teacher who works with underrepresented students. She is also a member of California Crime Victims for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Mary Broderick

Mary Broderick was executive director of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and served as director of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Defender Division, where she conceived and edited the NLADA Standards for the Appointment and Performance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases. In addition to serving on the Death Penalty Focus Board, she is on the boards of Taxpayers for Sentencing Reform and the Southern Center for Human Rights.

Irving Cramer

Irving Cramer is the founding executive director of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger and involved in several international relief efforts. He also serves on the J Street Steering Committee, working to form a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Nicole Gutierrez

Nicole Gutierrez is an associate at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Nicole previously worked at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Section, Special Litigation Unit and the Office of the Federal Public Defenders.

Aundré Herron

Aundré Herron is a former prosecutor who now works with inmates on California's death row and the counsel appointed to represent them. She is also a member of California Crime Victims for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and serves on the ACLU National Board of Directors.

Rev. James Lawson

Reverend Lawson moved to Los Angeles in 1974 to lead Holman United Methodist Church where he served for 25 years before retiring in 1999. He has continued to train activists in nonviolence and to work in support of a number of causes, including immigrants' rights in the United States, the rights of Palestinians, opposition to the war in Iraq, and workers' rights to a living wage.

Fred Luskin

Dr. Luskin continues to serve as Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects, an ongoing series of workshops and research projects that investigate the effectiveness of his forgiveness methods on a variety of populations. He currently serves as a Senior Consultant in Health Promotion at Stanford University and is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He presents lectures, workshops, seminars and trainings on the importance, health benefits and training of forgiveness, stress management and emotional competence throughout the United States. He offers presentations and classes that range from one hour to ongoing weekly trainings.

Stacy Mallicoat

Stacy L. Mallicoat is a Professor of Criminal Justice and Chair of the Division of Politics, Administration and Justice at California State University, Fullerton. Her research focuses on issues of public opinion and the death penalty.

Lawrence C. Marshall

Lawrence C. Marshall is a Professor at Stanford Law School, where he has served since 2004. Prior to that he was a Professor at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, where he co-founded the Center on Wrongful Convictions, and successfully represented numerous innocent men who had been sentenced to death. Governor George Ryan cited Professor Marshall's work as a key catalyst in his decision to commute the sentences of all inmates on death row in Illinois. In 1999, Death Penalty Focus honored Professor Marshall with its Mario Cuomo Act of Courage Award.

Billie Mizell

Billie Mizell is a legal analyst, investigator, litigation specialist, and writer.

Robert M. Myers

Robert M. Myers grew up in Northern Orange County when there were more orange trees than people. He graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1972 and Loyola Law School in 1975. He wrote Santa Monica’s rent control law as staff attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and served as Santa Monica City Attorney from 1981-1992. He is a founding board member of DPF and currently represents two men on California's death row.

Tom Parker

Tom Parker has been involved in the criminal justice system in the United States for the past 45 years. He served as an FBI Agent for 24 years, retiring in 1994 as the Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge (i.e. Deputy Chief) of the Los Angeles Regional FBI Office. Prior to joining the FBI, Tom also served as a police officer for five years, and is currently an investigative consultant, educator, and expert witness on criminal justice matters.

Father Chris Ponnet

Fr. Chris Ponnet is a pastor at the St. Camillus Center for Spiritual Care in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He also serves as the director of the Department of Spiritual Care at the LAC+USC Medical Center. As Host Pastor, he leads the grassroots abolition group Catholics Against the Death Penalty Southern California.

Ed Redlich

Ed Redlich is currently a television writer/producer working for Paramount Television. He was an Executive Producer on "Without a Trace," "Felicity" and as a Producer on "The Practice."

Thomas H. Speedy Rice

Speedy Rice is a Professor at Washington & Lee School of Law’s Transnational Law Institute in Lexington, VA. He is also a partner in the law firm of Clarke Johnston Thorp & Rice in San Diego, CA. Prof. Rice is internationally recognized for his work and teaching in Human Rights, specifically against the death penalty, access to justice and anti-corruption.

Tracy K. Rice

As Vice President, Development, for Public Counsel, Tracy continues her long history of passionate work for civil rights and social justice. Prior to joining Public Counsel, Tracy served as Los Angeles Bureau Chief of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and before that was a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California for six years. There, she worked on a variety of civil rights cases, with a particular emphasis on criminal justice issues, including prison and jail conditions of confinement cases, police misconduct, and death penalty appeals.

Eugenie Ross-Leming

Eugenie Ross-Leming is a graduate of the University of Chicago in General Studies in the Humanities and an alumna of Second City. She is an actress, a screen and television writer, and a producer. Currently she is the Executive Producer of the thirteenth year of Supernatural on the CW, with writing partner Brad Buckner.

Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 40 years and has defended people charged with capital offenses since the reinstitution of the death penalty in California. He is Past President of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and teaches law school classes in Forensic Science.

Shakeel Syed

Shakeel Syed is the Executive Director of the Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development ( and also serve the boards of ACLU and American Muslims for Palestine.

Javier Stauring

Chaplain Javier Stauring is Co–Director of the Office of Restorative Justice of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Javier is also Director of Healing Justice Coalition, an interfaith coalition of faith-based organizations in California who are involved in juvenile justice reform.

Sarah Timberman

Timberman founded her Sony Pictures Television-based production company, 25C Productions (now Timberman/Beverly Productions) in 2003. Timberman (along with partner Carl Beverly) is currently in production on the A&E drama pilot DANNY FRICKE, written by Cynthia Cidre and directed by Michael Dinner. Timberman/Beverly recently produced the Fox comedy pilot "Hackett," starring Donal Logue and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. In 2006, 25C and Sony produced the critically acclaimed NBC series, "Kidnapped."

Richard Wollack

Dick Wollack is a real estate investment manager for institutional and individual investors for over 35 years. He also founded Premier Pacific Vineyards, the largest developer of high-end vineyards in California and owns two wine brands: Expression and Tetra.