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Call to Repeal “Discriminatory Life without Parole Sentencing"

WHEREAS, African- Americans are disproportionately represented throughout the United States criminal justice system beginning with arrest to incarceration to the use of the death penalty; and


WHEREAS, according to a July, 2009 Sentencing Project Study entitled No Exit; the Expanding use of Life Sentencing in America; and


WHEREAS, there are 41,095 individuals serving life without parole in the United States, of which 66.4% are persons of color; and


WHEREAS, there are also 1,800 juveniles serving life without the possibility of parole sentences, 77% of which are youth of color; and


WHEREAS, the imposition of the life without parole sentences is increasing at four-times the rate of life sentences and has increased 22% between 2003-2008; and


WHEREAS, seven state jurisdictions permit only life without parole sentencing; and


WHEREAS, life without parole has become America's surreptitious generic death penalty and it falls disproportionately upon the lower class and communities of color.


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP stands opposed to all forms of de-facto death penalty sentencing and stands in opposition to a legal system utilizing these socially predatory practices; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP urges all of its units to advocate in their respective states to fight against this modern barbarism; exposing the injustice of governments handing down death penalties under the guise of life without parole sentences; and


BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP employ its full influence in the abolition of life without parole from both federal and state sentencing codes.