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Resolution Opposing the Death Penalty

WHEREAS, historically and continuously, due to racism and/or the inability to afford adequate legal defense, African-Americans, other non-whites and poor citizens are more likely to receive injustices in the courts; and

WHEREAS, a recent nine-month study of "Race and the Death Penalty in North Carolina – An Empirical Analysis: 1993-1997," showed that if the homicide victim is white, the convicted offender, regardless of race, is 3.5 times more likely to be sentenced to death; and

WHEREAS, the study of the death penalty in North Carolina concluded that if the defendant of a homicide charge is African-American (or "non-white") and the victim is white, the convicted offender is 6.4 times more likely to be sentenced to death; and

WHEREAS, the study of the death penalty in North Carolina concluded that when African-Americans (or non-whites) kill each other, juries send them to death row at a rate of only 1.7 percent; and

WHEREAS, the facts, such as those released on April 16, 2001 in North Carolina regarding the death penalty, clearly confirm our suspicion that "skin color plays a major role in who lives or who dies in our criminal justice system;" and

WHEREAS, there is no possible way of restoring the life of a person killed by the death penalty if the accused was executed erroneously or through racism/classism; and

WHEREAS, the problem of the disparate application of the death penalty as documented in North Carolina is national in scope; and

WHEREAS, the National Board of Directors', in recognition of the national nature of the problem, passed a resolution at its October 2000 Meeting that supported a moratorium on all state and federal executions until race is not a factor in death penalty application.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP continue it opposition to the death penalty and call upon its units to collaborate with other local, state and national organizations in calling for a Moratorium; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP work toward the education of all citizens in recommending that the death penalty become a major accountability issue for elected officials/candidates who seek support from the African-American community; and

NOW, BE ITTHEREFORE FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at its 2001 Annual Convention reaffirm its 1970 Resolution on Abolition of the Death Penalty.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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