Efforts to End Capital Punishment

This Sunday, an interesting twist to the recent American Law Institute’s divorce from its prior recommendations regarding the death penalty occurred:  The Charlotte Observer published an editorial calling for abolishing capital punishment in North Carolina, based on the ALI’s recent determination. 

As added incentive, the Charlotte Observer did point to a Duke University study and

On Monday, over 1000 cities around the world will participate in “World Day of Cities for Life,” which honors the first time that the death penalty was abolished by a government — on November 30, 1786, by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.  Organized by the Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio of Rome, participation is growing steadily: in 2005, only 300 cities worldwide were participants and now, four years later, the total exceeds 1150. 

Cities for Life Day involves each community flooding lights upon a local monument that in some way symbolizes the effort to abolish the death penalty.  For example, in Rome the Colosseum is illuminated; in Barcelona they are lighting up the Cathedral Square. 
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Today’s news includes the story about the Death Penalty Information Center’s new study of capital punishment costs.  Released this week, and looking solely at the bottom line, the DPIC analysis demonstrates that significant monies can be saved by eliminating the death penalty.  Since 1976, $2,000,000,000 (that’s two billion dollars) has been spent on capital punishment

The Death Penalty Information Center is providing details on their website regarding a new online tool for those interested in the death penalty.  Created by OpposingViews.com, an entire database of information on Death Row inmates in this country has been provided for our free use. 

What’s encouraging about this particular project is that this

Effective July 1, 2009, there will be no death penalty in New Mexico. Capital punishment will still apply to any capital crimes committed between now and midnight on June 30th. – and there has been no change in the punishment of death for the two men currently residing on New Mexico’s Death Row.

Albuquerque’s Sheriff Darren White Leading an Effort to Put It to a State-Wide Vote

Not everyone in New Mexico is pleased with this development. Sheriff Darren White is reportedly investigating the possibility of putting capital punishment to a full state-wide vote, which would enact an amendment to the New Mexico constitution approving of the death penalty for certain types of crimes.

According to Sheriff White, he’s undertaking this action because of the large number of phone calls he’s received from the citizenry, who are upset about the change. White says that state polls show a majority of New Mexicans are in favor of capital punishment.

Undoubtedly, Sheriff White will be assisted and supported by prosecutors across the state, as well as the New Mexico Sheriffs’ and Police Association, as well as other law enforcement organizations that were against the New Mexico repeal efforts.

What About the Two Men on New Mexico’s Death Row?

Since 1933, New Mexico has executed nine (9) individuals – all men – using three different methods : one by gas, one by lethal injection, the rest by electric chair. That’s not a high death rate.
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