Durham Calls for End of Death Penalty
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2012
Durham Calls for Death Penalty Repeal
DURHAM, NC – Durham is now the largest city in the South on record for repealing the death penalty.
At its meeting in City Hall this afternoon the Durham City Council unanimously passed a resolution presented by People of Faith Against the Death Penalty calling for North Carolina and the federal government and U.S. military to repeal the death penalty. The resolution suggests using the taxpayer funds that would be saved by repealing the death penalty to support programs to help murder victims' family members and for programs to prevent violent crime.
“From every angle, the death penalty is a practical and moral failure, a costly, brutalizing relic of our past that wrongfully condemns innocent people and is awash with racial and class bias,” PFADP Community Organizer Amanda Lattanzio told the city council members.
Lattanzio, who lives in Durham, reminded the city council members that in 1999 the council passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions. “It is now clear that the only solution to the problems of the death penalty is for North Carolina to join most countries in the world and a growing number of states in repealing the death penalty,” Lattanzio said.
The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham, joined PFADP and told the council, “The reality is that the death penalty does not work, is immoral and is not applied justly.”
North Carolina has not had an execution since 2006. Since then the murder rate in North Carolina has decreased.
Longtime City Council Member Howard Clement thanked PFADP for bringing the resolution to the city council. “I hope that it will serve as an example for other cities, large and small, to follow what we have done,” he said.
The nearby towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill passed repeal resolutions in June.
More than 830 congregations, businesses, and community groups in all 100 North Carolina counties have passed PFADP’s repeal resolutions.
In December, PFADP launched its NC Kairos Campaign. One of the initial goals of the campaign is to generate 1,000 resolutions from businesses, congregations, and community groups in every county in the state and even local governments.
"We're ahead of schedule," Lattanzio said. "And we have only just begun."
PFADP is a national organization based in Carrboro and was founded in 1994. Most of PFADP's financial support comes from individuals and congregations, but support for PFADP's Kairos Campaign also comes from the Triangle Community Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.