Washington, DC - 2/13/15 - The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty joins a broad and diverse chorus of praise for Governor Tom Wolf. Governor Wolf announced a moratorium on executions until he has reviewed a report from the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment. The moratorium will remain in place until he is satisfied that any problems identified have been addressed.
Among the concerns cited by the Governor were the risk that innocent people would be sentenced to death and executed, and a marked pattern of racially skewed sentencing in capital cases.
“This is what leadership looks like.” said Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. “Governor Wolf is taking the appropriate steps necessary to ensure that the Pennsylvania death penalty system is held to the same standards of accuracy, fairness and effectiveness that every other program in the state must meet.”
Our experience across the nation informs us that time and again the death penalty fails to meet those standards. That is because it is an outdated practice that does not improve public safety and our reliance and focus on it hinders our forward progress on those things that will.
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty envisions a world where neighborhoods are safe and communities are strong--where we address the root causes of crime and violence. We applaud Governor Wolf’s actions today because he is leading the state and the nation in the right direction.
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is the nation's oldest organization dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty. We are comprised of an extensive network representing more than 100 state and national affiliate organizations and thousands of advocates and volunteers. Our members include families of murder victims, people across the political and religious spectrum, past and present law enforcement officials and prominent civil and racial justice organizations working to end the death penalty forever.
In January 2014, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty launched the 90 Million Strong Campaign to partner with and mobilize a growing number of national organizations and individuals who believe that it is time for the death penalty to end.