The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Amy Becker at or call 202-870-6888

New Coalition of Civil Rights, Religious, Human Rights, and Pro-Liberty Organizations Come Together To Push for End to Capital Punishment

90 Million Strong” campaign launches in year of high-profile botched executions, exonerations, questions of racial fairness in criminal justice system


With the country's final executions of 2014 scheduled to take place in Georgia, Missouri, and Texas this week, a new coalition is launching to mobilize the 90 million Americans who support ending capital punishment. Citing a year when the inherent flaws in the administration of the death penalty have been more extreme and evident, this coalition of civil rights, religious, human rights and libertarian organizations is responding by coming together to end the death penalty.

On Tuesday, December 9th at 10 AM, at the National Press Club, the group will launch a major initiative to end capital punishment in the United States. The effort, called the "90 Million Strong Campaign," is being facilitated, coordinated and convened by the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. The campaign name is derived from the estimated numbers of Americans who believe the death penalty is wrong.

The Campaign responds to a shockingly high number of death row exonerations, botched executions and an increase in government secrecy surrounding the practice. It also comes at a time when the nation is still grappling with significant questions about fairness, particularly when it comes to race, in the criminal justice system.

With just a handful of states left allowing executions, the trend is moving away from capital punishment. In the last decade alone, six states have abolished the practice, and a total of 31 states plus the District of Columbia either don't have the death penalty or have not carried out executions in at least 5 years. Since 1973, including last month's freeing of the longest-serving innocent prisoner, 149 people have been exonerated from Death Row. It is unknown how many innocent have been wrongly executed.

WHAT: Launch of "90 Million Strong" campaign to end the death penalty

WHO: Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Hilary Shelton, Director, NAACP Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Advocacy

Nan Aron, President, Alliance for Justice

Steven Hawkins, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA

Karen Yarbrough, Former Illinois State Representative, who authored law to end the death penalty in the state Jim Wallis, President & Founder, Sojourners Barbara Weinstein, Director, Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism

Norman L. Reimer, Executive Director, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

WHEN: Tuesday, December 9th 10 AM ET

WHERE: National Press Club, Bloomberg Room

529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor

Washington, DC 20045

For those unable to attend event, please feel free to use the available live stream on the day of event. Any questions during the event can be directed to

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) was founded in 1976 in response to the Supreme Court decision in Gregg v. Georgia which permitted executions to resume in the United States. Our mission: abolish the death penalty in the U.S. and support efforts to abolish the death penalty world wide.