News Release

World Day Against the Death Penalty

Washington, DC (October 7, 2011) – Today there are over 3,200 prisoners on death rows around the United States. The United States is one of a decreasing number of countries (now a minority) worldwide that continues to support the death penalty.  As of 2010, 139 countries are abolitionist countries in law or practice. 

But support for the death penalty in the United States is waning. Reasons why Americans are becoming more sick and tired of capital punishment include:

  • The tremendous costs associated with capital punishment and the toll it takes on state and local budgets;
  • The number of innocent persons exonerated after having been found guilty and served years on death row. 138 people have been exonerated from death rows across the United States;
  • The potential that innocent persons, such as Cameron Todd Willingham and Troy Anthony Davis have been executed;
  • The influence of race in charging and sentencing decisions. In Georgia, those convicted of killing white victims are 4.5 times more likely to be sentenced to death than those convicted of killing black victims;
  • Lack of adequate funding for capital defense teams;
  • Evidence that the death penalty does not deter crime;
  • Use of Life Without the Possibility of Parole as a sentencing option.

On this 9th World Day Against the Death Penalty, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers reaffirms its commitment to abolishing the death penalty.  There is no humane way to kill a human being, and this practice of killing to set an example that killing is wrong must end.

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Jack King, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7628 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.