NAACP invokes Troy Davis legacy in anti-death penalty drive

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published: 23rd Jamuary 2012

Motivated by the tragic execution of Troy Davis in Georgia last September, the NAACP has renewed its fight to make the death penalty a part of America’s past. Over the next year, NAACP state representatives in several key states will urge their legislators to take the necessary steps to repeal the ultimate punishment.

“People in this country care about justice and fairness,” says Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the National NAACP.  “Unfortunately, Troy Davis’s case and too many other cases in our country demonstrate that these elements are sorely lacking in the application of capital punishment in this nation.  African Americans and the poor are disproportionately handed this extreme punishment for the same offenses as their wealthier or White counterparts.”

While African Americans make up less than 13% percent of the total U.S. population, they compose 42% percent of those awaiting execution on death row, and 35% of defendants executed in the U.S. since 1976.

“Racial bias and discrimination continues to infect the Maryland death penalty system,” says Gerald Stansbury, President of the NAACP Maryland State Conference.  “This cannot be tolerated in a state with a longstanding commitment to equal justice for all.”

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