Thursday, December 08, 2005


National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty


“The bottom line is, an innocent person was put to death.”

That was what the jury forewoman said recently twelve years after Ruben Cantu was executed in Texas. Now, the lone witness to the crime has recanted.
The district attorney who prosecuted Cantu believes he never should have been charged with a capital crime based on the testimony of an eyewitness who identified him only after police officers showed Cantu’s photo for the third time.The trial judge says: This case, like thousands of other cases in the system across the country, cries for a thorough examination of the process.”

Those of us at the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty know that because of incompetent lawyering, prosecutorial misconduct and racial bias, men and women are trapped unjustly in the capital punishment system. Now, we have solid evidence disclosed in the Houston Chronicle’s investigative series headlined:
Did Texas Execute An Innocent Man?

The newspaper’s conclusion: Ruben Cantu was almost assuredly innocent when killed by the state of Texas.
Your donations help NCADP work toward the day when no innocent person will face execution. Click here to help us say, “No more Ruben Cantus!"

Of course, it’s not just about innocence. The NCADP knows firsthand about the unjustly condemned:---Stanley Tookie Williams was executed despite compelling questions about his guilt and despite an extraordinary record of service while in prison through his writings against gangs and violence.---
The mentally-disabled prisoner who said he would eat part of his final meal “after” his execution.---
The 122 prisoners in 25 states released from death row because they were innocent of the crime for which they were sentenced. (One of the 122 is NCADP board member Juan Melendez who spent more than 17 years on death row.)---
Court-appointed lawyers who never before had defended a prisoner facing death.---Attorneys who join with judges in using racial epithets about their client.

The National Coalition is the country’s only fully-staffed national organization devoted solely to repealing the death penalty. Comprised of over 100 local, state, national and international organizations, we’ve focused on this goal since 1976 when the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court.We help our affiliates conduct effective public education programs. To increase opposition to this barbaric practice, we publicize every execution conducted in this country.

Every time we post a forthcoming execution date on the NCADP website, recalling Justice Harry Blackmun’s resonant phrase, we confront the machinery of death. Since l976 a thousand and two men and women have already been executed.
Today, more than 3,400 men and women in 38 states are still confined on death row.
Click here to say, “enough is enough!” !!!!

We are determined to end these government-sponsored executions. Because of our work and that of many others, support for capital punishment is declining steadily. Prosecutors seek the death penalty less often and jurors are imposing death less frequently. With every print or television news story that brings to light another wrongfully charged individual, this erosion reflects the awareness among Americans that the death penalty system is broken.
You can turn your commitment to ending the death penalty into action by supporting NCADP’s mission. I hope you will find our work important and contribute accordingly.
Be as generous as you can, knowing that you will be fighting back against a system that is vile and relentless. The bottom line is that only by stopping all executions can we be certain no innocent man or woman is ever put to death.
Ultimately, the standard of decency which some day must prevail, the social code by which we all will live, will no longer accept death by government.
Thank you for joining us on this life-saving journey.
Concerned about the death penalty? Tell a friend!


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