Washington, DC - 1/27/15 - Tonight Georgia makes a mockery of justice by executing a man who the Supreme Court has said categorically cannot be punished with death. More than a decade ago the Supreme Court ruled that executing a person with intellectual disabilities violates the letter and spirit of our Constitution.
Yet on a contrived technicality Georgia does just that.
This was a pointless display of brute government force. Rather than upholding the law and respect for life, Georgia cheapens it.
The Supreme Court’s failure to act to vindicate the Constitutional principles it has sworn to protect is disappointing.
But things will not change in Georgia or any of the other executing states until we change it.
If you are disappointed tonight channel that disappointment into action.
Join us. Make this struggle for justice your struggle. Tell your friends and families about what has happened in Georgia tonight.
We promise you and we promise the state of Georgia, that we will not mourn, cry or even scream tonight and then go away.
We will be back, again and again. We will shine the light on the broken justice system until the people in Georgia see the wrong that is being done in their names.
Our organization envisions a world where neighborhoods are safe and communities are strong. One important part of this work is identifying and addressing the root causes of crime and violence. We know that crime happens when other issues are neglected — insufficient mental health services, the lack of safe and affordable housing, or an outdated education system that does not prepare our future workforce. When we do things like provide high-quality education for all children, ensure safe and affordable housing in our nation’s communities, give workers a living wage, and meet everyone’s mental health needs, we prevent crime and create more vibrant communities. But, instead, we are using outdated practices such as the death penalty, which does not reduce crime rates and does not keep our communities safe. Let’s abolish the death penalty and start implementing preventative strategies that focus on the roots of crime.
Our hearts and prayers go out to Mr. Hill’s family and the family of Joseph Handspike. No one has been served well by this sad and cruel spectacle.
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.