For Whom the Bells Toll is a program coordinated by People of Faith Against the Death Penalty to encourage congregations to ring their bells at 6:00 pm for two minutes on the day of an execution in the United States.

To view a current schedule of upcoming executions, please click here.

If bells are not available, a banner can instead be displayed on the day of an execution. We encourage faith communities to share the meaning of tolling their bells in an effort to educate members of their faith community and local media.

Participants in For Whom the Bells Toll join an email list and will receive regular updates about approaching executions in the United States. PFADP can assist with ways to inform the congregation’s broader community about the purpose of the bell ringing.

How to get involved:

If you would like more information about For Whom the Bells Toll please contact Amanda Lattanzio at amanda (at) pfadp (dot) org or 919.933.7567.

Or you can sign-up directly by following this link:

The history of the program:

The idea of ringing bells on the day of an execution was developed when Bishop Walter Sullivan of Richmond, Virginia heard about Jaime Cardinal Sin of the Philippines encouraging Catholic churches in the Philippines to toll their bells in response to the execution of a Filipino citizen. Starting on November 9, 1999, Bishop Sullivan encouraged all churches in his diocese to toll their bells on the evening of every execution until the death penalty was abolished in the United States. 

Sister Dorothy (Dot) Briggs founded the national program that we know today and PFADP assumed responsibility of the program in 2009. Before PFADP adopted the program, For Whom the Bells Toll was a program of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE).

The history of tolling bells:

The tolling bells will be a reminder to all who hear them that all of us are diminished by continuing acts of state-sponsored murder. The churches, monasteries, abbeys, temples and synagogues that join in this effort will go a long way toward stopping the death penalty in this country. The campaign will continue until the death penalty is abolished in this country.

Throughout history, bells have been used to warn people of dangers such as marauders or approaching storms. They have been used to celebrate happy occasions such as weddings and to mark sorrowful occasions such as deaths.

Bells have been tolled to gather village residents for meetings. In 1945, many church bells tolled to announce the end of World War II.

How to help:

If your place of worship has a bell:

• On the date of an execution, toll the bells at 6:00 p.m. for 2 minutes. 

If your place of worship does not have a bell:

• Hang a black drape outside the doors of the building on the day of the execution. 
• *Hang our banner either inside or outside your place of worship.
• Tie black ribbons on poles outside the building. 

*Banners will be coming soon.

Whether there is a bell or not:

• Include information in your bulletin. 
• Encourage others to join the campaign.
• Conduct a prayer vigil or period of silence for the person being executed, the victim(s), and the families of both. 
• Explain your activities to local media.

If you need help or advice with anything, do not hesitate to contact us. You can email Amanda Lattanzio at amanda (at) pfadp (dot) org or call 919.933.7567.

If you have not signed up yet to join For Whom the Bells Toll, please do so by following this link:

The current execution schedule is as follows:
Last updated July 12, 2013

JANUARY 7 - Ohio
Warren Henness is scheduled to be killed by the people of Ohio for the murder of Richard Myers.

MARCH 12 - Ohio
Robert Van Hook is scheduled to be killed by the people of Ohio for the murder of David Self.

MAY 14 - Ohio
Jeffrey Wogenstahl is scheduled to be killed by the people of Ohio for the murder of Amber Garrett.

JULY 15 - Ohio
Alva Campbell is scheduled to be killed by the people of Ohio for the murder of Charles Dials.

Angelo Fears is scheduled to be killed by the people of Ohio for his role in the murder of Antwan Gilliam.

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