Friday, December 28, 2012

Priority work: Get rid of the Death Penalty before it bankrupts us

The death penalty is dying a slow and lingering death. Unfortunately, there are still people in our state who want to keep it on life support.

With your help, we can put it out of its misery.

Here are the facts for the past year: 

In Oregon: 

  • No one was executed;
  • No one was sentenced to death; and
  • Five death sentences were overturned on appeal.
In the United States:
  • Only nine states conducted an execution, and over 3/4 of the nation's 43 executions took place in just four states: Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Arizona;
  • A projected 78 death sentences have been or will be handed down nationally, about the same as last year, down from a high of 315 in 1996; 2011 and 2012 are the first years since reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 that there have been fewer than 100 new death sentences;
  • Connecticut repealed its death penalty, becoming the fifth state to do so in five years; California voters narrowly lost a ballot measure election to do the same;
  • Despite the reduction in executions and death sentences, murder rates continued to drop substantially, confirming research findings that the death penalty has no measurable deterrent effect on violent crime.
Even though the death penalty is becoming an anachronism, fails to provide any public benefit, and has been rejected by most civilized nations in the world, we continue to waste millions of dollars on it.

You and I can end this pointless practice.

If your mailing address is in the OADP database, you should have received Ron Steiner's letter last week asking for your financial support of our mission.  Please use the envelope and response form in that letter and make the most generous contribution that fits into your budget.

If you didn't get Ron's letter, you can read it, along with our December newsletter and other articles, at our website,  And while you're there, we'll be most grateful if you'd click "Donate" to learn how you can support our work either on a credit card or by check.

The death penalty truly is in terminal decline.  It's time for us to end it in Oregon and put our nation one step closer to complete abolition.  The goal is worthy, and we'll be most grateful for your support.

Best wishes from all of us for a safe, peaceful and prosperous New Year!


David McNeil
OADP Board Secretary

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