We recently got exciting confirmation that our call for Gov. Cooper to commute all of NC’s death sentences is being heard not just in the streets of Raleigh but across […]
In honor of World Day Against the Death Penalty on October 10, NCCADP released a letter signed by nearly 1,500 people of faith in NC, all of whom stand with our movement to ensure that no more executions are carried out in our state. They stand beside nearly 350 faith leaders who support commutations.
On August 19, our coalition once again came together to create a future without executions. About 200 people gathered at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh to remember the 43 people executed under North Carolina’s modern death penalty. Afterward, we marched to Central Prison, which houses the nation’s fifth largest death row, to demand that it be dismantled. We carried signs bearing the names of the executed.
This month marks the seventeenth anniversary of North Carolina’s last execution. Between 1984 and 2006, North Carolina executed 43 people. For some, it might feel like executions are ancient history in our state. However, the enormous pain they caused is still very much with us. I know because, in 2005, I stood by helplessly as the state of North Carolina killed a man and devastated a family that I cared about deeply.
After we released our letter from faith leaders to Gov. Cooper in April, asking him to commute the sentences of all 137 people on North Carolina’s death row, we heard from many lay people who wanted to add their names. In June, we launched a new letter inviting all people of faith in North Carolina to sign on. The letter was released during NCCADP’s Abolition Sabbath Weekend, five days of prayerful reflection and education about the death penalty.
Are you part of a religious or spiritual community and/ or do you consider yourself a person of faith who lives in North Carolina? In a state where nearly 80 percent of people identify with a faith tradition, including Governor Cooper, people of faith can be powerful voices for justice. We encourage you to add your name to this letter asking the governor to commute all death sentences to prison terms.
Originally published in the Charlotte Observer By Rev. Sharon Risher I know what it means to have my faith tested. Eight years ago this week, I was a hospital chaplain […]
A man who has spent nearly 30 years on death row finally had a chance to present evidence that Black jurors were illegally excluded from his trial. Frank Chambers, a Black man, was sent to death row in 1994 by a Rowan County jury that included only a single non-white member. The evidence of discrimination was so extensive that the hearing took an entire week.
In the context of a death penalty trial, the harm of Confederate imagery is even more pronounced. The death penalty is already disproportionately applied to Black defendants, and the presence of such imagery reinforces the perception that the system is rigged against us. It makes it even more difficult for Black lawyers to represent their clients effectively and for Black defendants to receive a fair trial. The message these monuments send is clear: The courthouse is a place where white supremacy is tolerated and honored.
Russell Tucker was a Black man facing the death penalty in the South in the “tough-on-crime” 1990s. He deserved the chance to be tried by a jury of his peers. However, a Forsyth County prosecutor came up with reason after reason why Black people could not remain on the jury. On Feb. 8, Mr. Tucker’s attorneys will present evidence to the NC Supreme Court that jurors were illegally excluded because of their race.
We held North Carolina’s largest death penalty abolition event in more than a decade. Well over a hundred people gathered outside Central Prison and marched more than two miles to the Governor’s Mansion. Downtown Raleigh was awash in signs that proclaimed: No More Death Row! At the mansion, we were 200 strong as we made our demand of Governor Cooper: He must use his power to commute the death sentences of all 135 people on death row.
You may think that watching a video doesn’t make a difference in the world. But we’re here to tell you that it does. At more than two dozen screenings, we’ve seen this film’s power to educate and move people to action. It’s a key part of our work to organize a public movement to end the North Carolina death penalty. If it spreads far and wide, it will lead to change.
This week, my client Ty Hargrove was sentenced to die in prison. In 2017, Ty killed his estranged girlfriend, Shaekeya Gay, in front of a Henderson Food Lion. He was […]
“Halfe to food and halfe to the homeless.” The phrase was clearly written by a child. The words in green marker stood out in the middle of the large poster […]
We already know from our experience with the Racial Justice Act how prosecutors work to keep juries in capital cases overwhelmingly white, using the tool of peremptory strikes. Now, new […]
Sixteen years ago today, North Carolina used its execution chamber for the last time. On August 18, 2006, Samuel Flippen was the last of 43 people executed under our modern […]
On August 18, it will be sixteen years since North Carolina strapped Samuel Flippen to a gurney and executed him in the middle of the night. From August 15 to 19, we are gathering for a week of in-person events to remember the 43 people executed under our current death penalty laws and to recommit to building a future without the death penalty. Please join us.
Three-quarters of the 136 people living on North Carolina’s death row were sentenced to death in the 1990s. But our large death row is just one of the remnants of […]
Reposted from the Center for Death Penalty Litigation Earlier this month, Marcus Robinson was found dead in his cell at Scotland Correctional Institution. The prison ruled it a suicide. He […]
By Elizabeth Hambourger Yesterday, my client Henry White went home to his family after 25 years in prison. It was one of the most heartwarming moments I’ve experienced as a […]
If you follow the news about the death penalty, you’ve probably heard that five executions are scheduled in United States in the next few weeks — and that one of […]
This week in Warren County, Lester Kearney’s capital murder trial was declared a mistrial after the jury couldn’t agree on his innocence or guilt. The prosecution’s case was based entirely […]
Yesterday, the death penalty trial of Lester Kearney began in Warrenton, North Carolina. Kearney, a Black man, is accused of a terrible crime. An elderly white couple was beaten, robbed, […]
This week, the federal government plans to execute three people: Lisa Montgomery, Cory Johnson and Dustin Higgs. If all three executions are carried out, that will make 13 people executed […]
On Friday, September 25th, 2020, Christina Walters, Quintel Augustine, and Tilmon Golphin were resentenced from death to life without parole. The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that they had […]
Last week, the North Carolina Supreme Court broke new ground for a state court in the South. Not only did the justices nullify a death sentence poisoned by racism, they […]
The North Carolina Supreme Court has issued a historic call for the state to address and rise above its history of excluding Black citizens from jury service and allowing racial […]
This article was originally published on June 17, 2020 in the NC Policy Watch. When I was a young Black lawyer in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, there was […]
The question our society should be asking is not: Do you believe that people who commit murders should be punished? The answer to that is obvious. The question that gets to the heart of the matter is: What’s the fairest, most efficient, and most effective way to punish people who commit the worst crimes? When you ask it that way, the death penalty is clearly not the answer.