Washington, DC — 12/16/15 — With a new report showing that use of the death penalty is down and 30 states have now abolished capital punishment in law or in practice, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Executive Director Diann Rust-Tierney released the following statement:
“If 2015 has shown anything, it’s that we can take action, and make genuine progress, toward making the death penalty a thing of the past. Thirty states have now said we can do better than this. We can find better solutions for criminal justice; we can’t mend a practice that’s broken, biased and outdated.
“This progress didn’t happen on its own. It happened because we’ve seen, time and again, the brutality of the death penalty by our government; we’ve seen other men and women sit on Death Row for decades, only to be released- because they never committed the crime in the first place. And we’ve seen too many cases where reasonable people would argue that the circumstances around a particular crime were far too questionable to make the accused pay the ultimate price.
“The report also noted that opposition to the death penalty is at a 40-year high. Forty or more percent of Americans oppose the death penalty- more than 90 million of us. This progress, too, only happened because of the diligent work and concerted effort of so many seeking to abolish capital punishment.
“In 2014, NCADP launched the 90 Million Strong campaign to give people a voice in this important debate. Since then, 17 national organizations have worked to give a voice to the 90 million Americans who’ve said they support an end to the death penalty. To them, I say, we can end the death penalty once and for all if we make our voices even stronger, and louder. Now is the time to commit to speak with your family and friends and social group. Use the information and the tools that we provide to be visible, be active, and to be vigilant. This change has come because people are choosing a different path.”
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.