Archive | August 1, 2014

Abolishing the Death Penalty State by State

prisoner's hands

Thirty-six states have either abolished the death penalty, have executions on hold, or have not carried out an execution in at least 5 years. Recently, three states, Arizona, Ohio, and Oklahoma, temporarily halted executions as reviews are conducted of botched executions.

In six states, Arkansas, California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, and North Carolina, a de facto moratorium on executions is in place because of lethal-injection challenges; most of those states have not had an execution since 2008. Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have formal moratoriums on executions imposed by their governors.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty. In 6 additional states, while no formal hold is in place, no execution has been conducted in at least five years. The U.S. military and federal government also authorize the death penalty, but neither has had an execution in over ten years.

In September of 2011, the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis, after valiant efforts to stop the execution of Troy Davis for more than two decades, more than one million people from all around the globe were forced to bid him “goodbye”.

After the execution of Troy Davis, Laura Moye at Amnesty International wrote in her action alert sent to members, “… My heart is heavy. I am sad and angry. The state of Georgia has proven what we already know. Governments cannot be trusted with the awful power over life and death… Georgia didn’t just kill Troy Davis; they killed the faith and confidence that many Georgians, Americans, and Troy Davis supporters worldwide used to have in our criminal justice system.”

holding hands around globe

It has been reported that, Troy Davis stated repeatedly said that his case was about so much more than him. As a result, Troy’s words give those involved in seeking justice in the Davis case fodder to carry on and stay committed to this fight and the larger fight to make sure there will be no more Troy Davis’ in this nation.

Because of Davis case, countless people from both ends of the political spectrum were made aware of the countless flaws in the United States’ criminal justice system. As was stated in the action alert after Davis execution by Georgians For An Alternative to the Death Penalty, “… we need you to stay awake.” After the execution of Troy Davis in September of 2011, opponents of the death penalty recommitted themselves to fight against the relentless killing machine also known as the death penalty.

“As Troy Davis wrote in a letter when he was facing execution in 2008: … no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.”


If you are seeking a way to turn your disappointment over the outcome in the Troy Davis and countless other death penalty cases, I hope that you will join me and countless others around the globe that support the efforts to free the staggering number of innocent people who are currently incarcerated. With that said, you can donate to the Innocence Project, a nonprofit committed to fight to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and/or Amnesty International, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Witness to Innocence, Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation, Georgians For An Alternative to the Death Penalty,Equal Justice USA, and countless other organizations fighting to abolish the death penalty.

Sources: Equal Justice USA, Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, the NAACP, MomsRising, Amnesty, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Catholic Conference, Witness to Innocence, Amnesty International, Georgians For An Alternative to the Death Penalty,, NBC News.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art