Washington, DC — 9/17/2015 — On news that death row inmate Richard Glossip of Oklahoma had received a two-week stay of execution from the state, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) released the following statement from its Executive Director, Diann Rust-Tierney:
“No one should be put in the horrific position of literally coming within hours of dying for a crime that he may not have even committed.
“We have ample evidence nearly every day that our criminal justices system, even with the best of intentions, is limited in its ability to absolutely guarantee that we get the right results. We can’t escape the fact that we are human- -we do the best we can—but we make mistakes and that is why capital punishment is inconsistent with that simple fact.
“One hundred fifty-five people have been released from death row because of innocence. Sadly others were not so fortunate.
“The death penalty does not enhance public safety—it’s a fact. To the contrary, states and regions of the country that use the death penalty most cannot boast of lower homicide rates. The southern regions of the country that use the death penalty most have higher homicide rates while the northeast region, where there are fewer executions, has a lower homicide rate.
“We need to focus on those things that do enhance public safety: safe and affordable housing; a great education for every child; building a strong economy that provides for livable wages; access to treatment for trauma and support for all victims of crime and access to mental health services.
“We are grateful for the outcome here today, but it only underscores the need for Oklahoma—where there have been so many problems in its use of capital punishment-- to move forward to halt executions and end the practice altogether.
“We call on people of good will, who want to see this country move forward to join us in our effort to halt all executions and end the death penalty once and for all.”
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.