Should Congress abolish the death penalty?
This bill would abolish the death penalty under federal law. No individual could be sentenced to death for a federal crime, and those currently sentenced to death would be resentenced. Sponsor: Rep. Adriano Espaillat (Democrat, New York, District 13) View full bill text ➔
How do you feel?
• "Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the President. Under Administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals, including these five murderers, each of whom was convicted by a jury of his peers after a full and fair proceeding. The Justice Department upholds the rule of law—and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system." Source: Former Attorney General William Barr (Republican)
• "We are past-time as a Nation ending the practice of killing Americans to prove killing is wrong. We must end this barbaric and inhumane practice now. We have learned that executing Americans continues to be administered in a definitively racist, and classes manner. The financial cost is exorbitant, and there is no evidence that the practice helps reduce murders or other crimes. More African Americans than any other race or ethnicity are erroneously executed and either freed or mistakenly executed. This collateral damage must stop as it is actually more expensive to sentence someone to life in prison than executing them. " Source: Hilary O. Shelton (Director, NAACP Washington Bureau)
• "Even the most heinous of crimes can be punished without killing. Yet poor people, especially from communities of color, have been disproportionately charged with capital crimes and sentenced to death compared to wealthier defendants. The stream of people awaiting execution who have been exonerated with DNA evidence is another chilling sign of the death penalty’s brokenness and barbarism. And in addition to being cruel, error-ridden and unjust, the high cost of maintaining the death penalty also diverts needed resources from initiatives to serve victims and to rehabilitate other offenders." Source: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California, District 12)