(Washington DC—6/17/14) Tonight the state of Georgia executed Marcus Wellons. This was the first execution since the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma at the end of April and distinguishes the state as an outlier. Georgia courts have upheld the practice of secrecy surrounding Mr. Wellon’s executions and others. The secrecy problem has been one of a number underlying a national call for a halt to all executions.
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty put out a call to halt executions nationwide after the horribly botched execution of Clayton Lockett at the end of April. Thousands have signed on and state abolition coalitions along with their community partners have put out similar calls to halt all executions in their respective states.
“We are disappointed but determined,” stated Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. “We renew the call to halt all executions along with millions of other Americans who know that it is time for the death penalty to end. We will increase the intensity of our organizing and public education efforts and we will ultimately prevail.”
“It’s long past time for this extravagantly grotesque practice to end. We simply can’t get it right: we risk executing innocent people; race plays too big a factor and whether you get the death penalty or not should not depend on how much money you have or what county you happen to be in,” ended Rust-Tierney.
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.