National Coalition to

Abolish the Death Penalty

90 million Americans believe the death penalty is wrong. We mobilize them to end the death penalty state by state.
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Daisy Kouzel, A Life-long Abolitionist

Daisy Kouzel, A Life-long Abolitionist

Our mother, Daisy, was a death penalty abolitionist since she was a child. She could not explain why she had acquired this particular passion at so early an age. She had no personal connection with anyone who had been affected by capital punishment, either victim or defendant. Our father, Alfred, had a theory that perhaps in a previous life, Daisy had had a son or daughter who was executed. But however it began, Daisy, with the help of Alfred and us kids, worked tirelessly for the cause. Read More navigateright

Public’s Changing Attitudes on Capital Punishment

Public’s Changing Attitudes on Capital Punishment

In the years that followed, support for the death penalty skyrocketed, peaking in 1994 with 80 percent of the population supporting its use, according to Gallup. Now a poll confirms, what many close to this issue already believed, that support for the death penalty is on the decline -- at 60 percent -- the lowest level of support for the practice in 41 years, according to Gallup's analysis. Moreover, in polls that present more information about the death penalty to respondents, including alternatives to capital punishment, majority support for the practice vanishes. Read More navigateright

Gallup Poll: Support for the Death Penalty at 40-Year Low

Gallup Poll: Support for the Death Penalty at 40-Year Low

A recently released Gallup poll shows that support for the death penalty is the lowest that it has been in 40 years. Opposition for the death penalty stands at 35%, and 40% of respondents believe the death penalty is applied unfairly. Read More navigateright

A Tribute to a Prison Warden’s Influence on Capital Punishment Abolition

A Tribute to a Prison Warden’s Influence on Capital Punishment Abolition

Donald Cabana, a former Mississippi prison warden who presided over executions, was not the usual ally for me and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. But Donald Cabana loathed the death penalty. As I mark his passing and celebrate his life, he died this month at 67, I think about the vantage point from which he formed his opinions about capital punishment. Read More navigateright

Book Review: Exile and Embrace

Book Review: Exile and Embrace

In his book Exile and Embrace: Contemporary Religious Discourse on the Death Penalty, Anthony Santoro presents a thorough intellectual review of religious debates on the death penalty. He examines this debate in different contexts – doctrinal statements, congregational study discussions, political campaign rhetoric, and the writings of and interviews with death row chaplains. Read More navigateright

Goodbye too Soon, Dan Schoen

Goodbye too Soon, Dan Schoen

On October 15th, the death penalty movement lost a dear friend and champion, Dan Schoen. Dan, the executive director of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, was a long-time champion for death penalty repeal in Colorado.  Read More navigateright

Book Review: Grave Injustice

Book Review: Grave Injustice

Grave Injustice is a highly readable study for anybody interested in a thoughtful, but critical examination of the death penalty in modern America. Stack reveals capital punishment as a broken, largely symbolic relic at odds with the very essence of a pluralistic democracy. Gladly for the reader Stack writes very well. Read More navigateright

I Am Troy Davis Book Launch

I Am Troy Davis Book Launch

Starting on the eve of the second anniversary of Troy's execution, the Davis family and Haymarket Books will be holding a series of commemoration events and book signings in collaboration with the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Amnesty International, the NAACP, and Equal Justice USA . The events will be in New York, NY; Decatur, GA; Savannah, GA; Washington DC; Baltimore, MD; Bellingham, WA; and Seattle, WA.  Read More navigateright

Death Sentence in Case of Fort Hood Shooter Out of Step

Death Sentence in Case of Fort Hood Shooter Out of Step

I have not seen a system built yet, that can equip the most principled and dedicated of us as prosecutors, judges, jurors, or military tribunals with the god-like ability to see into the soul of another human being and without fail sort out the irredeemable, from the weak, the wicked or the wrong. Read More navigateright

The Death Row Torture of Warren Hill

The Death Row Torture of Warren Hill

Rania Khalek, a writer for The Nation, has written an article called “The Death Row Torture of Warren Hill: When a prisoner faces the execution chamber four times in one year, is it not cruel and unusual punishment?” This article helps to further expose the cruel nature of capital punishment by showing the repetitive and unsettling “stay of execution” cycle. The author explores the case of Warren Hill, a man who received four stays of execution within a few hours of his scheduled death—all in the course of a year—creating an almost permanent state of uncertainty as to whether he will live or die. Read More navigateright

Justice for Trayvon Must Include Criminal Justice Reform

Implicated in the tragedy of the death of Trayvon Martin is a state law, that like the death penalty itself, justifies the taking of another's life. Read More navigateright

Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck, speaks out against the death penalty

In this video, Kenneth C. Frazier, President and CEO of Merck, speaks at the American Law Institute's 90th Annual Meeting about his role as a death penalty lawyer and the flaws in the judicial system as it relates to capital punishment. Read More navigateright

Statement by EU on the execution of John Ferguson

Statement by EU on the execution of John Ferguson

Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the execution of John Ferguson in the US State of Florida Read More navigateright

Loss of Hope

Loss of Hope

There are lessons to learn from Billy Slagle's case for everyone. I hope those in position to make the final decisions about a man’s life or death take heed of these lessons. The roller coaster of emotions that I, as a lawyer, experience is heart wrenching—but that is only a fraction of how Billy felt. Even in a case where there is no question of guilt, there remain serious questions about whether the death sentence was the appropriate punishment and the cat and mouse games played by those in power. Hope is a powerful thing and loss of hope can be deadly. Read More navigateright

What the Trayvon Martin Killing and the George Zimmerman Verdict Mean for Criminal Justice Reform

What the Trayvon Martin Killing and the George Zimmerman Verdict Mean for Criminal Justice Reform

The great tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s killing must be our galvanizing event to inspire us to fix our criminal justice system. We owe it to Trayvon and all the millions of Black, Brown, low-income and under-educated men and women, boys and girls, caught up in this system that has been unjust for far too long. Read More navigateright

Press statement on Judge Manners’ Findings in Reggie Clemons Case

Press statement on Judge Manners’ Findings in Reggie Clemons Case

Statement released by Justice for Reggie Campaign on August 6, 2013. Judge finds that evidence was suppressed in the case of Reggie Clemons, that confession was coerced. Read More navigateright

Trusting Law Enforcement After the Trayvon Tragedy

Trusting Law Enforcement After the Trayvon Tragedy

Trayvon’s is a story that far too many African American men experience daily. This case, and the countless others that haven't received the same attention, remind us of the crisis of racial profiling where millions of Black and brown people in America--particularly Black boys and men--are often automatically judged as suspicious or dangerous. These young men are growing up in a world where they feel unsafe proceeding with certain everyday activities such as returning home from an errand, driving, or hanging out with friends because of stereotyping and over-criminalization by our criminal justice. Read More navigateright

Trayvon Martin & the Death Penalty:  Criminalization of the Black Community

Trayvon Martin & the Death Penalty:  Criminalization of the Black Community

Does Trayvon Martin have anything to do with race and the death penalty? Some may think the senseless killing of an unarmed Black teenager is completely unrelated to the racial discrimination in our capital punishment system. But nothing could be further from the truth.  Read More navigateright

When profiling is “reasonable,” injustice becomes excusable

Earlier this week the prominent Catholic theologian and social activist, Fr. Bryan Massingale, wrote a provocative blog post on the U.S. Catholic web site about the Trayvon Martin case, commenting that when we accept profiling as reasonable, then Trayvon Martin becomes, "a sacrifice at the alter of white fear." Read More navigateright

From Trayvon to Racial Disparities in the Death Penalty

From Trayvon to Racial Disparities in the Death Penalty

In his remarks during a surprise appearance before the press, President Obama placed the national outrage over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman into the historical context of racial oppression, violence and disenfranchisement, drawing connections to the racial disparities in our criminal justice system overall. Read More navigateright

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