Why I Give to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty?
The death penalty in America is a failed experiment. With every passing day, more and more people are seeing how broken it is, in every way you can imagine. For over 30 years, NCADP has been bearing witness and busting the myths that capital punishment is built upon. That is why I proudly serve on the Board of Directors and support NCADP’s work to end America's failed experiment with capital punishment.
Why I oppose the death penalty?
In the 1980's I witnessed the beginnings of the Texas execution machine. Texas spent big to execute men and women in the middle of the night, but it did not want to spend money for competent lawyers and investigators, either at the trial or appellate level. What began slowly as a trickle, soon gathered momentum and Texas became the largest killing machine in the nation. Texas has carried out 512 of the more than 1,300 American executions.
In Texas, we have seen virtually every single discrete death penalty issue play out: actual innocence, prosecutorial misconduct, junk science, lack of indigent defense resources, death sentences for juvenile offenders, death penalty prosecutions of people with intellectual disability, defendants with severe mental illness and competency issues, juror confusion, predictions of future dangerousness, and a clemency process that has failed to live up to its historic responsibilities.
These are also some of the reasons that Texas has exonerated more people than any other jurisdictions.
NCADP Board Member Steve Hall is the Director of The StandDown Texas Project, which identifies and advocates best practices in the indigent criminal justice system, with a particular focus on capital punishment. The project began in August 2000 and is based in Austin. He was the Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of Texas from 1983 to 1991, and an administrator at the Texas Resource Center, a non-profit legal services program, from 1993-1995. Hall has worked for state representatives, the U.S. Congress, and served as director of communication for two statewide political campaigns in Texas.