Abolish Federal Death Penalty and Set Life-Affirming Standard

Target: Joe Biden: President of the United States

Goal: Support end of capital punishment at the federal and state level.

The United States, long a torch-bearer for human rights in the world, stands apart from most of its allies in one major regard. This country is one of the only developed nations in the world that still permits government-sanctioned killing of its own citizens. America’s upholding of the death penalty is in stark contrast to places like Australia, the European Union, and most of South America, where capital punishment has long been abolished.

In the last days of the Trump administration, a record number of federal executions took place. Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden, pledged a vastly different approach on the campaign trail.  He vowed to advocate for an end to the federal death penalty and to offer strong incentives to states that followed suit. Such a move would halt a controversial practice that holds a history of disproportionately being used against certain populations. It would also ease worries about executing an innocent person: a tragic reality that sometimes comes to light years after the fact. Most fundamentally, ending capital punishment would sustain a core American values: the right to life and the condemnation of cruel and unusual punishment.

Sign the petition below to hold President Biden to his still-unfulfilled promise.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Biden,

The Justice Department recently revoked seven death penalty requests in federal cases. This move is a welcome shift, but it is not enough to make good on your campaign pledge. You promised to make federal elimination of the death penalty a priority, yet since taking office you have remained silent on the issue. Meanwhile, 2,500 Americans across the country have a government-stamped date with death.

Over half of states, and the federal government, still uphold capital punishment…a marked difference from America’s allies. Systemic racism is believed to have played a strong historical role in the administration of these sentences. Further, too many individuals have been released from incarceration after their innocence was proven. For the death row inmate, new evidence may come far too late. Even one innocent person whose life is taken by his or her own government is one person too many. And, as your spokesperson reinforced, you have expressed concern about whether capital punishment is: “consistent with the values that are fundamental to our sense of justice and fairness.”

Mr. President, you have tools at your disposal, whether these avenues be commutation of federal death sentences to life imprisonment, incentives for states to end this practice, or support of legislation such as the current House bill proposal that would abolish the death penalty. Please utilize these tools and honor your promise to end this inhumane relic once and for all.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: RODNAE Productions 


2 Comments

  1. The law and the courts make too many mistakes. There are two men presently in prison who are innocent of the crimes with which they were charged. Their innocence has been proven. One man has served over 40 years. Imagine spending a lifetime in prison for something you didn’t do. That is why the death sentence needs to be ended. Yet for the guilty I feel they need to work to pay for damages done by them to others. Fighting fires, road work or the like. They need to be useful to society as we feed them, house them, and they have medical care. Some of us don’t. If these gun slingers knew of such punishment for life maybe they would think twice before shooting into crowds. When caught and found guilty, their lives need to be most unpleasant. The same needs to be true for supposed white collar crimes. Crime is crime and needs to be punished severely.

  2. Lisa Finnigan says:

    Reserve the death penalty for extreme cases that are beyond a shadow of a doubt guilty. Why should mass murderers get free room and board for the rest of their lives?

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