NAACP Celebrates Failure of Death Penalty Referendum Petition

(BALTIMORE) –The NAACP released the following statements from NAACP National President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous and NAACP Maryland State Conference President Gerald Stansbury in response to news that the petition drive to impose a referendum on Maryland’s death penalty repeal has failed.

From Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP:

“The people of Maryland have spoken: there is no place for the death penalty in our state,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.  “The death penalty is not only expensive and biased, it fails to deter crime and risks innocent lives. As the first state to outlaw the death penalty below the Mason-Dixon Line, the ‘Maryland Strategy’ becomes the new model for other states. We will replicate this strategy elsewhere. We will abolish the death penalty in every state within our lifetimes.”

From Gerald Stansbury, President, Maryland NAACP State Conference:

“This failed effort to reinstate the death penalty is a signal that our state has turned the page on this flawed practice,” stated NAACP Maryland State Conference President Gerald Stansbury.  “With this issue settled, Maryland can use the resources saved to arrest and try killers who remain uncaught.”


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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