April 16, 2008
Dear Friend of
As I write this today, the cherry
blossoms are fading, but the machinery of death is lumbering along
with renewed authority and conviction.
the Supreme Court ruled in Baze v. Rees that
lethal injection posed no risk of unnecessary pain and suffering for
the more than 3,200 who still face execution (read
NCADP’s press release here). It is ironic
that while this decision was being announced, just a few blocks away
people of faith in Washington, DC welcomed Pope Benedict XVI, who
shares our belief that capital punishment is an affront to humanity
and has no place in modern society.
At the same
time that the Baze decision was being announced, the
Supreme Court heard arguments on a second death penalty case,
Kennedy v. Louisiana, which
challenges that state’s law that expands the death penalty to crimes
other than murder.
are reminded just how far we have to go in our fight to achieve
Those of us
in the anti-death penalty movement know we have a tough, but
lifesaving, task ahead. To end the death penalty
we have to overturn capital punishment state by
state. I’d like to tell
you what NCADP is doing to get us closer to abolition and why I
hope you’ll find our work worthy of your financial support at this
A new Harris
poll confirms what we’ve all believed to be true – support for the
death penalty in the United
States is weakening.
Fifty-two percent of Americans say the death penalty is no
deterrent to murder. An astonishing 95% of those
polled are convinced innocent people have already been convicted of
murder. These figures are supported by earlier
polls that indicate that three-quarters
of Americans believe that an innocent person has already been
executed in this country. Fifty-eight
percent of recent respondents said they would oppose the death
penalty based upon the knowledge that innocent people are sometimes
convicted of murder.
While the poll
numbers are encouraging, we must do more to build the constituency
for death penalty abolition across the nation.
The stronger our movement is in
towns, cities and states, the more we can shape the public opinion
that influences state legislators. Ultimately,
they will respond if the voters say enough costly, state-sponsored
killing is enough. And then we can
affiliates are small, headed by a few highly committed activists
leading anywhere from a dozen to several thousand
members. NCADP provides training, materials and
advice that helps them build their membership, educate state
legislators and encourage local citizens to shout out, "No!" to the
Our immediate goal is to reduce the number of
states with the death penalty from today’s 36.
NCADP is uniquely experienced in waging these state battles –
our staff includes veterans of the historic death penalty abolition
victory in New Jersey
as well as individuals who fought successfully to prevent capital
punishment from being reintroduced in
Your generous financial
support makes our work possible. Please
click here to make your donation
PS – You can double
or even triple the impact of your gift through workplace matches.
Please speak to your employer to discuss
PPS – NCADP is proud to have been
selected as a 2008 Working Assets/ CREDO
recipient. If you are a Working Assets /CREDO
long distance, mobile phone or credit card customer or are thinking
of becoming one, you can direct Working Assets to increase the share
of its support that goes to NCADP this year.
Please visit Working
Assets/CREDO for more details.