National Effort to End the Death Penalty hits GA, MD

Late last year, the NAACP announced its intentions to launch a national campaign to end the death penalty. This week, the Georgia and Maryland NAACP state conferences hosted events urging state legislators to end the death penalty.

The Georgia State Conference took its anti-death penalty appeal to the steps of the State Capitol on January 9. In a rally that was as symbolic as it was significant, NAACP members and anti-death penalty activists alike shared their reasons for why the death penalty should be eliminated in Georgia. As rallygoers held signs bearing the image of Troy Davis, speakers recalled the story of the Savannah, GA man who was executed last September despite serious doubts to his guilt.

“Our message is clear-- it is time to abolish the death penalty,” said Georgia NAACP State Conference President Ed Dubose. “This rally begins our quest to make sure Troy Davis is the last person put to death in the state of Georgia.”

In Maryland, President & CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous joined the Maryland State Conference and state lawmakers who oppose the death penalty at an anti-death penalty gathering in Annapolis. In the most recent vote on a death penalty ban, the legislation was only one Senate committee vote short of moving the bill to a full vote.

In addition to the Annapolis gathering, the Maryland NAACP State Conference and other state anti-death penalty activists are also planning to lobby lawmakers on January 16 – Martin Luther King Day – requesting that the vote to end the death penalty.

Each of these events will serve as catalysts for our state-by-state efforts to end capital punishment in 2012. Join us – sign our pledge to end the death penalty.