Washington, DC — 7/31/2015 — Today, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty announced they will join “America’s Journey for Justice,” a nearly thousand-mile march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, DC, to call for a fairer criminal justice system. The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will join coalition partners including the NAACP, the National Action Network, the National Bar Association, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and more. The march hopes to bring attention to and persuade the leadership in Washington to adopt an advocacy agenda that ensures a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, promotes sustainable jobs and living wages; and the need for equitable education.
“We are part of this broad coalition of because we see the need to refocus this nation’s priorities. We must create more opportunity and more fairness-- and the result will be more justice,” said Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
“Our focus should be citizen engagement and enfranchisement, jobs that pay living wages, schools that educate all of our children for the future these are things that create safe, healthy neighborhoods and communities. When these important things are ignored, communities suffer.
“Ending capital punishment is a critical part of this equation. The death penalty does not enhance public safety. Murder rates are lowest in the Northeast where we see the lowest number of executions. In contrast, murder rates are highest in the South which carries out the most executions of any region. We need to take a closer look at what works and what doesn’t and take a common-sense approach to improving public safety. That’s what we hope the Journey for Justice will encourage our nation’s leadership to do.”
Compassionate care for all victims of crime.
Accountability for offenders that is just and acknowledges the possibility of self-transformation, grace and redemption.
Dignity of all touched by the criminal justice system including those working in our judicial and prison systems.
Policies that are rational; based on empirical evidence and government accountability.
“The continued existence and use of the death penalty undermines our ability to make that vision a reality,” continued Rust-Tierney. “It divides us, distracts us and derails us from building that kind of society that respects and values all.
“We are proud to stand with the NAACP and citizens from across the country ready and willing to work to ensure that our country lives up to our values and this nation’s ideals. We are encouraging all our members and supporters to join us and the NAACP on America’s Journey for Justice!”
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.