May has been a momentous month for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the 90 Million Strong campaign. It started just after the botched exaction of Clayton Lockett when NCADP and our partners across the country called for a halt to executions nationwide.
There were no executions in the month of May. Stays of execution were granted in Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri coming from as high as the Supreme Court. Potentially innocent people on death row were granted new trials and clemency in Ohio and Delaware and the United States Supreme Court dealt another blow to the death penalty with a landmark decision on capital punishment and intellectual disabilities. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court decided that a Florida law that uses an IQ test score of 70 to determine death penalty eligibility is unconstitutional. Justice Kennedy wrote “The Eighth Amendment’s protection of dignity reflects the Nation we have been, the Nation we are, and the Nation we aspire to be.”
I had the great privilege visit and see up close the incredible organizing happening in Oklahoma lead by the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. I met powerful leaders from the faith and social justice community and was thrilled to stand alongside them during their lobby day at the Capitol. I want to particularly thank OKCADP member Lydia Polley for her warm welcome, inspiring leadership, and tireless work. This moment has been a catalyst for change in Oklahoma and the country as whole. More and more people are joining the 90 million who oppose the death penalty. Thank you for all you do and your continued support,
Director of National Programs