THE TIME TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY IS NOW!
Add your signature to the growing list of abolitionists who have signed onto this petition.
The start of 2007 could be the beginning of the end of the death
penalty in the United States.
Executions are on hold in over a dozen states, and botched executions
have put the lethal injection process under increasing scrutiny. In
effect, as the United States rang in the New Year, half the country
was not practicing capital punishment.
In 1976, the Supreme Court reinstated the use of the death penalty,
declaring that the problems associated with it were solved. More than
thirty years later, the shameful record is clear: the death penalty
continues to be applied in an inhumane, unjust, anti-poor and racist
Capital punishment's flaws are built into the system. And no tinkering
with the machinery of death can fix them.
The death penalty is used disproportionately against people of color,
especially African Americans, who are 13 percent of the U.S.
population but account for more than 40 percent of prisoners on death
rows across the country. Prosecutors are far more likely to seek the
death penalty if the victim is white than Black--80 percent of victims
in all death penalty cases are white, and only 14 percent are Black.
When it comes to the death penalty, the lives of people of color are
valued less than those of whites.
Capital punishment is reserved for the poor in the United States. Over
90 percent of those on death row could not afford legal
representation. More plainly stated, those without the capital get
the punishment. The parade of innocent people released from death
row--now more than 120 since reinstatement of the death penalty--is
living proof that the death penalty is too flawed to fix. The recent
debate over lethal injection shines a light on how the states and
federal government put people to death, and whether their methods
constitute cruel and unusual punishment. But mixing the chemicals
differently is no solution. Abolishing the death penalty is.
Barbara Becnel, Advocate for Stanley Tookie Williams, Board of Director, Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Stephen Bright, President, Southern Center for Human Rights, Atlanta,
Mike Farrell, President, Death Penalty Focus
Lawrence Hayes, Former Black Panther and New York death row prisoner
Stanley Howard, Pardoned Illinois death row prisoner, police torture victim
David Kaczynski, Executive Director, New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty
Michael Letwin, Past President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW
Manning Marable, Professor of Public Affairs/African American Studies,
Marlene Martin, National Director, Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Billy Moore, Former Georgia death row prisoner
David Protess, Professor Northwestern University, Journalism, director, Medill Innocence Project
Yusef Salaam, Exonerated in the Central Park Jogger case
Bruce Shapiro, Journalist and Executive Director, Dart Center for journalism
Darby Tillis, First exonerated death row prisoner in Illinois
Greg Wilhoit, Exonerated Oklahoma death row prisoner
Rob Warden, Executive Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions Welfare Poets
Harold Wilson, Exonerated Pennsylvania death row prisoner
Howard Zinn, Historian and Author of A People's History of the United States
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