Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold on the Severe Injustices of Capital Punishment

November 1, 2007

Washington DC – Today, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold made the following statement on the severe injustices in capital punishment systems nationwide following the Supreme Court’s decision to block an execution in Mississippi, widely seen as an effective halt to executions until the court rules on a case involving the death penalty next year.

“With the Supreme Court issuing yet another stay in a death penalty case this week, it appears likely that states will suspend executions at least temporarily. This de facto moratorium on executions by lethal injection gives us a chance to recognize just how deeply flawed the implementation of capital punishment in this country is. Indeed, the Supreme Court’s stay comes just one day after a call by the American Bar Association for a nationwide moratorium on capital punishment based on its detailed study of state death penalty systems, which found racial disparities, convictions based on bad evidence, grossly inadequate indigent defense systems, and a host of other problems with the implementation of capital punishment in this country. We should take advantage of this apparent pause in executions to consider the severe injustices within the system as a whole.”

Senator Feingold, a longtime opponent of capital punishment, is the author of S.447 - the Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act.

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