Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
Innocent people on death row!
- The Pa Bar Association reported that we are at risk of executing an innocent person – this is not a risk that we should be willing to take.
- Six people have been released from Pa’s death row due to innocence and an astounding 139 have been exonerated nation wide.
- Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004 despite the overwhelming amount of evidence that leads to his innocence. Click here for a link to view the full story.
The cost of capital punishment is too high!
- New Jersey found that it is as much as three times more expensive to execute someone than to keep them in prison for life.
- We have alternatives to executions in Pennsylvania; we can keep our communities safe by handing out strict sentencing. All the money we save can go toward policing, safety measures for our prison guards and a host of other preventative services.
- At this time of national economic crisis and a statewide budget freeze – now is a good a time as ever to halt this wasteful system and look for ways to make our society a better place. Click here for a link to a New York Times editorial about the cost of capital punishment.
Racial, geographic and economic disparities!
- African-American defendants in Philadelphia are four times more likely to be given a death sentence than white defendants.
- Although Philadelphia’s murder rate is only 3 times great than that of Harrisburg, the proportion of those condemned to death is 11 times greater in Philadelphia.
- Pennsylvania provides no funding for indigent defense services, opting instead to rely on county-funded indigent defense systems. As a result, the quality of Pennsylvania’s capital indigent defense system varies widely among counties and fails to afford uniform, quality representation to many capital defendants.