Reaffirming Opposition to the Death Penalty
WHEREAS, the NAACP adopted a resolution in 2001 re-affirming our opposition to the death penalty due to its racially disparate application; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP has re-affirmed its 1975 resolution opposing the death penalty on the grounds that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, many people, including Mumia Abu-Jamal, are incarcerated on death row and face possible execution; and
WHEREAS, more than 320 people on death row have been exonerated; and
WHEREAS, though African Americans make up only 12.4% of the U.S. population, we make up 38% of all the Americans that were sentenced to death and later freed after being found innocent; and
WHEREAS, African Americans make up 35% of those found innocent after being executed; and
WHEREAS, African Americans make up over 80% of those awaiting execution on federal death row; and
WHEREAS, 145 people have been exonerated based on DNA evidence; and
WHEREAS, there is no possible way of restoring the life of an innocent person killed by the death penalty; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of the death penalty raises concerns regarding biased identification, police and prosecutorial misconduct, judicial apathy in protecting the rights of the accused, faulty evidence, inadequate defense representation, coerced confessions, and fabricated testimony.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reiterates its strong opposition to the death penalty; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP call on its units throughout the United States, and the world, to support the international call for Mumia Abu-Jamal to be released from death row; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP reiterate its support of the international movement for a new and fair trial for Mumia Abu Jamal; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP renew its call for new nationwide studies on racial discrimination, the adequacy of counsel, access to modern research technology such as DNA analysis, the sentencing of children and women to the death penalty and that the NAACP reiterate its call for a national moratorium on all executions.