Death Penalty Overview

Victory in Nebraska! 

On May 27, 2015 the Nebraska Senate voted to override the gubernatorial veto abolishing the death penalty. Nebraska becomes the 19th state to do so in 8 years. Theodore Simon, NACDL President sent a letter to senators who supported abolition, thanking them for their support and urging them to hold the line on their vote as the governor had signaled a veto.  NACDL's advocacy team also engaged Nebraska members through e-alerts. In addition, NACDL's Death Penalty Committee and Board Member Bill Wolf were actively engaged behind the scenes during the entire process ensuring the vote would be sustained. 

90 Million Strong Campaign

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014 NACDL joined the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and a national coalition of civil rights, human rights, religious and pro-liberty groups for the launch of the 90 Million Strong Campaign.  The Campaign signifies the 90 Million Americans who believe that the death penalty is wrong.

NACDL Executive Director, Norman L. Reimer expressed in his remarks at the launch of the campaign, “The practice of government-sponsored execution has no place in the modern criminal justice system...It produces arbitrary, sometimes irrational outcomes, and it perpetuates racial and ethnic disparity.”

To learn more, visit “90 Million Strong Campaign.” 

Gallp Poll - "U.S. Death Penalty Support Lowest in More Than 40 Years"   

Death Penalty bedNACDL opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and supports reforms to ensure that innocent persons are not executed. Purely retributive in nature — countless studies show that it does not deter crime — the death penalty is unjust, uncivilized, and inconsistent with the fallibility of our justice system. Since reinstatement of the death penalty in 1973, more than 1,040 people have been executed in the United States. During the same time, more than 120 people sentenced to death have been exonerated. Many others have had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment because of serious doubts about their guilt. And some have been tragically executed despite serious questions concerning their innocence.

Because we believe that no amount of tinkering will rescue the death penalty from its inherent flaws, NACDL supports legislation to abolish the death penalty. In addition, NACDL supports individual state efforts to halt and study the death penalty as well as federal legislation to institute a moratorium. NACDL's Board Resolution Calling for a Moratorium on and Abolition of the Death Penalty.

In addition, NACDL's January 2012 National Advocacy Call on Developing Legislation featuring a discussion on death penalty moratorium reform efforts around the country.  For more information on the National Advocacy Calls on Developing Legislation please click here.

NACDL Executive Director, Norman L. Reimer recently gave a brief interview about why he is opposed to the death penalty.  


Upcoming Programs


Make the case...for your client's life at NACDL's 17th Annual "Making the Case for Life: Mitigation & Voir Dire in Capital Cases" Seminar. In the late 1999s, the United States regularly saw close to 300 death sentences per year. NACDL's Making the Case for Life Seminar was founded in response to those horrific figures as a way to help drive down -- eventually to zero -- death penalty verdicts. This seminar has helped achieve remarkable results. For more information, click here!

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