WHEREAS, the Missouri State Conference NAACP has launched a Clemency Campaign to save the life of Reginald ―Reggie‖ Clemons, an innocent African-American man on death row, who will be executed unless Missouri Governor Jay Nixon or the Missouri legal system intervenes; and
WHEREAS, the Missouri Supreme Court has ordered a review of the Reggie Clemons case and appointed a Special Master with the full power and authority to issue subpoenas and compel production of books, papers, and documents and the attendance of witnesses to hear evidence and have it transcribed to the same extent as it might be in a trial before the Missouri Supreme Court; and
WHEREAS, Reggie Clemons is a 37 year old African-American man sentenced to death in Missouri after an unfair trial by a jury that was biased in favor of execution and there is overwhelming evidence of Reggie's innocence that has never been heard in court; and
WHEREAS, Reggie¹s case is filled with many injustices, including police torture, brutality, gross prosecutorial misconduct, which included the use of a confession compelled by torture that should have been excluded, as well as ineffective trial counsel. Reggie, who had no criminal record, was a teenager at the time of his arrest; and
WHEREAS, Reggie was beaten by the police and coerced into making a false statement; and was denied an attorney. At Reggie's arraignment, Judge Michael David noted that Reggie had suffered physical injury while in custody and sent him to a hospital Emergency Room. The prosecutorial misconduct in Reggie¹s case was so severe that the prosecutor was held in criminal contempt of court and fined for his conduct; and
WHEREAS, a federal Judge vacated Reggie¹s death sentence in 2002 and noted that the actions of the Prosecutor, Nels Moss, were abusive and boorish; and
WHEREAS, a total of 130 people have been exonerated from death row nation-wide, and 20 death row inmates have been cleared of their crimes before being put to death in Missouri; and
WHEREAS, in February 2009, the NAACP National Board of Directors voted to support efforts to stop the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia, consistent with NAACP resolutions in 2004, 2001 and 1975; and
WHEREAS, in 1997, the American Bar Association and in 2008 the United Nations General Assembly similarly called for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its 2004, 2001 and 1975 resolutions in opposition to the death penalty; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP commends the Missouri Supreme Court's decision to give further consideration and review the case of Reggie Clemons. The Supreme Court's decision will allow the NAACP and myriad other groups to continue to increase advocacy efforts on Reggie's behalf in Missouri and around the country; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will launch a Clemency Campaign to save the life of Reggie Clemons, an innocent African-American man on death row, who will be executed unless Missouri Governor Jay Nixon or the Missouri legal system intervenes. The NAACP is calling on people to get involved and contact Governor Nixon or Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster urging them to prevent the execution of an innocent man; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls upon the U.S. Attorney General to review all death penalty cases as they specifically relate to racial disparities and discrimination especially, the cases of Reggie Clemons, Mumia Abu Jamal, Troy Davis and Eddie Conway from Maryland; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that more than 60% of the people in prison are people of color and African-Americans make up more than 40% of those on death row. At this Centennial Convention July 11-16, 2009 in New York, the NAACP has unveiled a national campaign aimed towards reversing those trends. The campaign's overarching goals are to make communities safer, improve police performance, save money and end the mass incarceration of African-Americans that characterizes our country's criminal justice system.