WASHINGTON - March 1 - Law students across the country are speaking out in opposition to the death penalty on March 1, 2004 as part of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Student Day Against the Death Penalty. At least 23 law school campuses are participating by organizing panel discussions, debates, documentary showings, and other events.
The national call for abolition takes place days after the Supreme Court intervened in the case of Texas death row inmate Delma Banks, Jr. on February 24, 2004 and just weeks after Alan Gell became the nations 113th death row exoneree after a re-trial in North Carolina.
Laura Raymond, NLG National Student Organizer, says, These victories are hopeful, but capital cases are hit or miss and as long as a persons life depends on a flawed system the ultimate injustice is being sanctioned by our government. The NLG calls for the immediate abolition of the death penalty.
Student chapters of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) are highlighting the cruel and unusual nature of the death penalty in what is proving to be an extraordinary year in death penalty related news. Capital punishment has fallen under strict scrutiny in the past year:
On January 27, 2004 the Supreme Court agreed to review the constitutionality of the juvenile death penalty.
In December 2003, Eutaw, AL became the 100th local government to pass a moratorium on the death penalty.
An October, 2003 Gallup poll found that public opposition to capital punishment is the highest since 1972 with 32% of Americans against it.
The NLG, founded in 1937, comprises over 6,000 members and activists in the service of the people. It has chapters in nearly every state and on 91 law school campuses.