Who is CELWOP?

The Campaign to End Life Without Parole (CELWOP) was organized in February 2021 to mobilize broad-based support for the abolition of life without parole (LWOP) sentences in Massachusetts. We are led by formerly incarcerated people and the families and friends of men and women serving LWOP sentences. Many organizations continue to join with us to support ending LWOP. Our survey was sent to those behind bars to help guide us in the campaign, and we are committed to giving those behind bars an active part in CELWOP.

Karter Reed, co-chair

Karter Kane Reed is an advocate, activist, mentor, volunteer, and public speaker. He served more than twenty years in prison from the age of 16 until his release at age 37. He went on to earn a 4.0 average and a degree from Mt. Wachusett Community College and has lectured in New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts regarding his experience and the need for criminal justice reform. Karter has been a relentless advocate for second chances and has testified on multiple occasions before the Massachusetts legislature and Department of Correction. He has also spoken at numerous colleges, including Clark University, William James College, and Harvard University. Additionally he served as a volunteer with the United Way and Roca, and is a former board member and community organizer with EPOCA. He currently lives with his wife in Maine and remains an active proponent of ending LWOP.

Karter Lecturing
Karter Reed
Sean Ellis
Sean K. Ellis

Sean K. Ellis, co-founder

Sean Ellis is committed to ending LWOP. He a motivational speaker, and a staunch advocate of criminal justice and prison reform. He has co- founded Exoneree Network and serves as a Trustee on the New England Innocence Project board. Sean is a recipient of the 2021 Boston Mountaintop Award for Advocacy related to Black Innocence within the criminal justice system. Sean’s recently released NETFLIX Docu-Series, Trial 4 has elevated his voice internationally as he continues to speak about his experiences with racism and injustice within the criminal justice system. Sean spent 22 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. For more about Sean see his website.

Real life stories of Life Without Parole

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    Cynthia Kussy-Goldberg