You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: Halt All Executions.
Despite almost tantrum-like resistance from its “pro-life” governor Pete Ricketts, Nebraska is about to become the 19th state to abolish the death penalty. With public opinion shifting on capital punishment, other red states are considering similar legislation.
Montana came within one vote of outlawing the death penalty in February and a republican state representative in Kansas has introduced legislation following the Republican Liberty Caucus coming out in opposition to capital punishment.
Legislators aren’t the only ones softening on state executions. A Boston Globe poll found that only 15% of people in Massachusetts agree with the sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man convicted of the Boston marathon bombing. Almost 66% of Bostonians and 63% statewide favor a life sentence instead.
Massachusetts may not have executed anyone since 1947 when the death penalty was used to execute gangsters convicted of murder, but death penalty proponents would have you believe that a heinous crime in anyone’s backyard can turn them in favor of execution. With a sizable majority disapproving of the sentence despite the effect of the crime on residents state-wide, this last remaining almost-logical talking point is slipping away.
Still, after Nebraska, we’re left with 32 states plus the federal government and the military having the death penalty. In an effort to push for increasing momentum on a federal ban, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty has a new project co-chaired by Sister Helen Prejean of “Dead Man Walking” fame: 90 Million Strong.
The goal is to end capital punishment by highlighting the 90 million who oppose the death penalty in this country. At 90MillionStrong.org you can add your name to their “Halt All Executions” petition, track scheduled executions and contact the legislators who have the power to stop them, register to vote — an important part of any long-term campaign, and get educated with articles and facts to post on your networks with the #HaltAllExecutions hashtag.
Find more resources on pending executions and educational content: 90MillionStrong.org
States with and without the Death Penalty via DeathPenaltyInfo.org
“Lethal Entanglements” via The New Republic
"Boston Bomber’s Execution To Be Delayed 18 Years?” via The Inquisitor
Hear the segment in context:
Episode #925 "A bad idea for all the reasons (Death Penalty)"
Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich