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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Community of Sant’Egidio USA appeals to stop all state sanctioned executions during the Holy Year of Mercy

Pope Francis
Appeal letter by the Community of Sant’Egidio USA to stop all state sanctioned executions during the upcoming Year of Mercy

This year, Pope Francis announced the worldwide Holy Year of Mercy, due to commence on December 8th, 2015.

Following on from Pope Francis widely expanding actions for hope and healing, peace and justice during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, together with the Community of Sant’Egidio and many people of goodwill around the country and world, we appeal you to apply executive clemency in capital cases in the United States during the Year of Mercy.

Pope Francis calls on all citizens of the world to be merciful and strive to create a better society. The Holy Year of Mercy is a chance to start that journey, to bring a new hope and to emphasize the merciful side of humanity. 

In the spirit of Mercy, I want to sign this petition and join the Pope, the Catholic Church and the people of the Community of Sant’Egidio to appeal to States’ Governors to put a hold on executions during this Holy Year. 

I hereby sign in support of stopping all capital state executions during the Holy Year of Mercy.

To read the full letter to be send to State Governors, please click here.

To sign the online petition, please click HERE.

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