A Death Penalty Fight Comes Home PDF Print E-mail
February 5, 2013

By Scott Shane
The New York Times

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Kirk Noble Bloodsworth, a beefy, crew-cut man whose blue T-shirt read “Witness to Innocence,” took the microphone in a church hall here and ran through his story of injustice and redemption one more time. Twenty years ago, he walked out of a Maryland prison, the first inmate in the nation to be sentenced to death and then exonerated by DNA.

About 60 activists against the death penalty listened with rapt attention, preparing to descend on state legislators to press their case. Maryland appears likely in the next few weeks to join the growing list of states that have abolished capital punishment. Some longtime death penalty opponents say no one in the country has done more to advance that cause than Mr. Bloodsworth. But ending executions in Maryland, the state that once was determined to kill him, would be a personal victory for him.
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Ohio's Newest Supreme Court Judge: Death Penalty 'Inherently Cruel and Unusual' PDF Print E-mail
January 31, 2013

By Ashley Portero
International Business News

The newest addition to the Ohio Supreme Court has been quick to voice his strong opposition to the death penalty, even under the most egregious circumstances.

Justice William O’Neill, who took office on Jan. 2, last week disagreed with  the rest of the court’s judges to oppose the execution of a man accused of the 1995 murder of a 10-year-old girl. In his strong dissent, O’Neill called capital punishment “inherently cruel and unusual” and therefore violates the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
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America’s Retreat From the Death Penalty PDF Print E-mail
January 1, 2013
The New York Times

When the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, it said there were two social purposes for imposing capital punishment for the most egregious crimes: deterrence and retribution. In recent months, these justifications for a cruel and uncivilized punishment have been seriously undermined by a growing group of judges, prosecutors, scholars and others involved in criminal justice, conservatives and liberals alike.

A distinguished committee of scholars convened by the National Research Council found that there is no useful evidence to determine if the death penalty deters serious crimes. Many first-rate scholars have tried to prove the theory of deterrence, but that research “is not informative about whether capital punishment increases, decreases, or has no effect on homicide rates,” the committee said.
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Maryland: Repeal Now, Act Now PDF Print E-mail
December 19, 2012

Maryland is on the cusp of something it should have done years ago: repealing the death penalty.

MD Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach needs to hear from you today while important decisions are made about the bill for repeal.

Write Sen. Miller here, http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1576/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=12164.

Maryland's Gov. Martin O'Malley has reaffirmed his support for repeal now.

Senior religious leaders across Maryland have reaffirmed their support for repeal now.

A majority of Maryland's legislators are ready to vote for repeal now.

Despite this pressure for repeal, Sen. Miller has remained unchanged in blocking repeal.

Please help PFADP expand the circle of abolitionists by supporting us right now.
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Add Your Moral Voice in NC PDF Print E-mail
December 20, 2012

Sign New NC Faith Letters for Death Penalty Repeal

For decades religious leaders across North Carolina have been at the heart of efforts to educate and mobilize faith communities to act to abolish the death penalty.

Nearly 700 religious leaders from North Carolina called for passage of the NC Racial Justice Act. Last week a judge found racial bias in the cases of three more defendants on death row and commuted their sentences.

People of Faith Against the Death Penalty has now launched letters from religious leaders and lay people of faith in North Carolina calling for repeal of the death penalty.

Visit www.ncrepeal.org.
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Breaking News: More Victories Today! PDF Print E-mail
December 13, 2012

FAYETTEVILLE, NC – The NC Racial Justice Act that you and many people worked so hard to bring about has led to another finding of racial bias in North Carolina's death penalty system.

Let's keep the victories for justice coming. Please give to PFADP here.

A Superior Court judge has commuted the sentences of three N.C. death row prisoners to life in prison after finding that prosecutors excluded African Americans from their juries. His rulings were made under two different versions of the RJA, including the most recent version that severely limited the scope of evidence allowable to find racial bias. Here is a news story about today's ruling.
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