Dear Members of Congress:
We are writing to urge you to pass the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2021 to abolish the federal and military death penalty in the United States.
Revenge is not justice. Even worse is the idea that suggest executions provide any healing to murder victim family members or the broader society. We can and must do better for ALL the families left to grapple with healing and justice in the wake of violence.
One of the central critiques of capital punishment is the racial disparities that exist in the criminal justice system. Countless studies have shown that defendants convicted of killing white victims are sentenced more harshly than those who have killed Black victims. For years the death penalty has faced legal challenges over racial bias and while the majority of people executed since 1976 have been white, a disproportionate number have been black (34 percent of those executed, while being only 13 percent of the population). In addition DNA and other methods of investigation have revealed that many people who have been sentenced to death were innocent. One-hundred seventy-three people in the last few years have been exonerated on death row.
The death penalty is cruel and inhumane. The time is now to right the wrongs or our criminal justice system and passing the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2021 is an important step in that direction.