From the mountains to the coast, the people of North Carolina are joining us in our campaign to compel Gov. Cooper to commute all of North Carolina’s 136 death sentences to prison terms. Today, in honor of World Day Against the Death Penalty, we release a letter signed by nearly 1,500 people of faith in North Carolina, all of whom stand with our movement to ensure that no more executions are carried out in our state.
Read the letter here.
The signers stand beside nearly 350 faith leaders across the state who have also signed a letter supporting commutations. Together, the two letters represent a clarion call from people of faith to Gov. Cooper. As one of our signers says:
Please do not kill in my name! Help us to rise above this barbaric form of punishment.”
As we release this letter, we want to pause for a moment in gratitude. A couple years ago, North Carolina’s grassroots movement to end the death penalty had gone mostly dormant. While there were plenty of people in our state who opposed the death penalty, it had been years since they’d been organized and mobilized to make their voices heard.
Today, our movement is stronger than it’s ever been. We regularly gather hundreds of people to call for an end to the racist, inhumane death penalty. Now with this letter, our numbers have climbed into the thousands for the first time.
We feel sure that, if we continue to show up in growing numbers, leaders will hear our call for a new vision of justice in North Carolina.
For now, we’d like to share just a few of the comments we received from the people of faith who added their names to this letter:
Please, Gov. Cooper, take the high road. Take the higher ground morally. Be a witness to help end the violence in the state prison system. End the possibility of executions in our state, especially after you leave office. You have the power to commute. Give restorative justice a chance.”
Death is irrevocable. Justice makes mistakes. The mistake of unjustly taking a life is immeasurable. The state should not risk making immeasurable mistakes!”
What we model gets replicated. The death penalty simply increases violent crime. It does not function as a deterrent.”
All life has inherent dignity and therefore no one is without redemption. The death penalty strips this inherent right and diminishes the value of all our lives.”
We call on acts of mercy and an end to systemic racism in our legal system. We call on an end to the death penalty and to focus on transformative justice.”
Not only is every human being sacred, there are none who are beyond redemption. But the terrible finality of execution cancels the possibility of redemption.”
NCCADP will continue to work every day to ensure that Gov. Cooper hears our cry: No more death row! We are beyond grateful to work alongside all of you.