We believe in the elimination of the death penalty in all cases because it is fundamentally inhumane, ineffective as a deterrent to crime, and disproportionately and unjustly applied against people of color and those who are economically or educationally disadvantaged. It is estimated that up to 90% of death penalty defendants are people in poverty and racial discrimination based on the race of the defendant and race of the victim are well documented. Reports and testimonies from criminology experts decisively conclude that the death penalty does not deter crime based on studies of death penalty and non-death penalty states.
In addition to the inherent injustice, the death penalty is fiscally irresponsible; Amnesty International concluded that even if automatic appeals were abolished in death penalty cases, these would still be more expensive to try than alternatives, including life without possibility of parole. In this delicate financial climate, it is wasteful to spend money on the death penalty that can otherwise be used for prevention, education, and victim services. Public support for the death penalty is decreasing and we support efforts to abolish this archaic, inhumane, unjust form of punishment.