August 16, 2011
Today marks the fifth anniversary since North Carolina held its last execution.
Thank you for that.
While the immediate reasons for this de facto moratorium on executions are court challenges over doctors participating in executions and the Council of State's approval of a new execution protocol, underlying these court challenges is a cultural shift brought on by an informed and empowered citizenry.
In June 1999 Carrboro, NC became the first local government in North Carolina to pass a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions. In all 39 local governments in North Carolina and 1,000 congregations and local businesses called for stopping executions in light of the evidence of racial bias, class bias, and innocent people on death row. Tens of thousands of North Carolinians signed petitions, wrote and visited their legislators, and contacted the governor.
Contrary to some legislators' and prosecutors' arguments for keeping the death penalty, over these past five years without executions North Carolina's murder rate has declined 13 percent, according to the state Department of Justice.
It's time North Carolina got smart on crime and no longer tolerated this expensive, error-prone relic of the Old South. Already 200 congregations and businesses have passed resolutions calling for repealing the death penalty and using the millions that would be saved to help murder victims' families.
To help build a new groundswell for repealing North Carolina's death penalty click here.
We'll continue to share information with you this fall so you can help keep North Carolina free from executions forever.