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Senator Lesniak Wins International Human Rights Competition

CAEN, FRANCE – Today, Senator Raymond Lesniak won the Memorial de Caen International Human Rights Competition. The competition included lawyers from Washington, D.C., France, Belgium, Guinea, Senegal, and Switzerland with speech topics ranging from governmental to military abuses of human rights.

Senator Lesniak’s speech, entitled “The Road to Justice and Peace,” won the acclaim of a panel of elite international judges.

Senator Lesniak stated, “I hope and believe this award will help efforts to abolish the death penalty wherever it exists. I’m also proud as an American to receive this award for the defense of human rights at Le Memorial de Caen, the famous museum dedicated to honoring the D-Day invasion and the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.”

Senator Lesniak announced that he will donate his first-place winnings, roughly $9,740 from the Caen City Council, to The Road to Justice and Peace: a non-profit started by the Senator to advance the abolition of the death penalty around the globe, to support the families of murder victims, and to promote humane alternatives to incarceration. To learn more about The Road to Justice and Peace, visit their website,

The text of the Senator’s speech, which was embargoed by Memorial de Caen until after the final competition, is attached to this release.

You can also view the Senator’s winning speech and the speeches of his competition at the Memorial de Caen website:

Click here to read Senator Lesniak’s Award-Winning Speech on Abolishing New Jersey’s Death Penalty.