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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2014 Off to a Blustery Start

Despite the continued national trend away from the death penalty, we are off to a blustery start to the year when it comes to executions. Seven states had collectively scheduled 11 executions for this month alone. That’s shocking given that only nine states carried out executions in all of 2013. Read More navigateright

Honoring Dr. King by Ending Capital Punishment

Honoring Dr. King by Ending Capital Punishment

The holiday marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. coincides with the beginning of legislative sessions in state capitals across the country. In a number of state capitals policymakers will consider whether the death penalty should continue as a feature of their justice systems. Support for capital punishment continues to decline as a recent report by the Death Penalty Information Center indicates. The more people learn about the death penalty in action, the less they like it. Read More navigateright

Underside of the Death Penalty

In Gary Strauss's USA Today article on the execution of Dennis McGuire, Diann Rust-Tierney states, "What's happening is shocking. We're seeing the underside of the death penalty: irresponsible behavior by states and the realization that there's not a good way to kill people.This case and others are going to increase and galvanize those who oppose capital punishment and cause the public and policymakers to say. 'What are we doing?'" Read More navigateright

State Legislatures Consider Death Penalty Repeal

State Legislatures Consider Death Penalty Repeal

On January 16th, two states, Kansas and New Hampshire, held hearings in their capitals to consider legislation to repeal the death penalty. Both bills have bipartisan support from lawmakers and are being considered after extensive advocacy from abolition supporters. Read More navigateright

New Execution Methods Can’t Disguise Same Old Death Penalty Problems

Ohio made history today by becoming the first state to use the two-drug combination of midazolam and hydromorphone in the execution of Dennis McGuire. State officials decided to use this experimental combination of powerful sedatives and painkillers after supplies of approved execution drugs ran dry. These shortages have caused other states to begin using experimental and downright dangerous methods to carry out executions. Read More navigateright

Florida Carried Out First Execution of 2014

Best known for sandy beaches, palmettos and warm weather, Florida has a darker side not familiar to those paying homage to Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom. Florida leads the nation in the number of exonerations of death row prisoners due to evidence of wrongful conviction. Read More navigateright

After the Holidays: Now Live It

I spent the last days of 2013 reflecting on the principles of Kwanzaa. My celebration of Kwanzaa has changed over the years as our family has changed and grown. Read More navigateright

We Are 90 Million Strong

The law doesn’t read “guilty until proven innocent.” And yet, since 1973, the United States has released 143 people from death row after they proved their innocence. It’s a totally backwards approach, and sometimes, we don’t get to them fast enough. Troy Davis, Carlos de Luna, Cameron Todd Willingham, and Gary Graham are among those who are widely believed to have been wrongly executed. In all likelihood there are others. Read More navigateright

Farewell, Tata

Farewell, Tata

I learned of Nelson Mandela's passing, Tata, or father, as he is called in South Africa, from an emergency text on my phone: "Use caution when driving near the South African Embassy -- there will be mourners gathering in the area." Read More navigateright

Ten Death Penalty Stories from 2013 Not to Have Missed

Ten Death Penalty Stories from 2013 Not to Have Missed

In 2013, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and our many allies and supporters in the death penalty abolition movement celebrated triumphs and learned from our setbacks. This list of important stories from 2013 emphasizes the successes but provides critical reminders of the challenges we still need to overcome. Read More navigateright

Colorado’s Journey to Realizing the Beloved Community

A bill to abolish Colorado’s death penalty failed during this past Legislative session, but Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (CADP) has come back strong, teaming up with a diverse and powerful group of community partners. Together they will engage Coloradans throughout the state in dialogue about why abolishing the death penalty will make Colorado a stronger, safer, and more just place to live. Read More navigateright

After Exoneration, Tibbs Pursued Justice

After Exoneration, Tibbs Pursued Justice

Delbert Tibbs was sentenced to death in Florida for the murder of Terry Milroy and the rape of his companion, Cynthia Nadeau. He was innocent. Delbert Tibbs was once quoted as saying "God sent me to death row so I could be a witness." Delbert Tibbs died on November 23, 2013. He was 74. Read More navigateright

Farewell Friend

Farewell Friend

We mourn the passing of Delbert Tibbs, a death penalty abolition activist deeply committed to peace and racial justice. He died on Saturday, November 23, 2013. Read More navigateright

Once Again, Texas Fails to Keep Its Promise in Racial Bias Death Penalty Case

Once Again, Texas Fails to Keep Its Promise in Racial Bias Death Penalty Case

It should have been a simple fix. Instead, Texas has chosen to embrace a death sentence that’s the clear product of racial discrimination. Read More navigateright

Death Penalty Drug Dealings

Death Penalty Drug Dealings

For decades most death penalty states used a three-drug lethal injection protocol until the U.S. manufacturer of sodium thiopental stopped supplying it. The other producers of the drug were all in Europe where capital punishment is illegal. Under pressure from its own citizens, these companies have worked to keep their products from being used in U.S. executions. As a result, state administrators of capital punishment have gotten increasingly frustrated and desperate in their actions to gain access to drugs for executions. Read More navigateright

Alabama’s Controversial Death Penalty System Could Be Getting Worse

Alabama’s Controversial Death Penalty System Could Be Getting Worse

Alabama is one of three states (Delaware and Florida are the others) that allow judges to override a jury’s sentencing decision in capital cases and issue a death sentence despite the jury’s recommendation to the contrary. On November 18, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case of Mario Woodward who was sentenced by an Alabama judge to death despite an 8-4 jury vote at trial against it. According to news accounts, the jury’s decision was influenced by multiple mitigating factors, including the importance of Woodward’s relationship with his children. Read More navigateright

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

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