Urban League of Portland Calls for End to Death Penalty
Statement cites racial disparities in sentencing, innocence of some death row inmates
Press Release from the Urban League of Portland
December 20, 2012The Urban League of Portland has joined forces with scores of other Oregon organizations, advocating for the replacement of the death penalty with life without parole. The League has recently been listed as supporting Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the organization that leads the death penalty repeal efforts in Oregon. OADP continues to grow its membership and list of supporting organizations with this announcement.
Michael Alexander, President and CEO of the Urban League of Portland offered the following statement in support on behalf of the Urban League's endorsement.
"I'm reminded that Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who is one our most beloved and admired champions for justice, was steadfastly opposed to the death penalty. He held the belief that as long as concerns about the very foundation of equal treatment under the law exists for any Americans but specifically Black Americans, every opportunity must be preserved for individuals to prove their innocence. The Urban League of Portland supports that belief as well. We are pleased to join the voices of citizens and organizations who are seeking the repeal of the death penalty in Oregon."
The Urban League of Portland joins over 60 other secular organizations and faith communities in support of efforts to rid Oregon of the death penalty, replacing it with life without parole. The administration of the death penalty, across the nation, shows a bias against the poor and people of color. In the year-end report from the DeathPenalty Information Center (http://deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/2012YearEnd.pdf) it is pointed out that death penalty sentencing and executions continue to drop, but racial bias is still evident in both.