Thursday, August 24, 2023

Free Spirit Inclusive Catholic Community Witness Against Death Penalty in North Carolina

 My Free Spirit friend Liza Hardy-Braz and I drove from Greenville, NC to our state capital, Raleigh on Saturday, August 19, 2023 to join other NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty activists advocating for the end of the death penalty in NC. Many people of all ages came together peacefully at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church and then marched a little over a mile to stand at the main gate in front of NC’s Central Prison despite the heat and sun. We are grateful to the church for the hospitality in allowing us to meet there and be a part of a poignant ceremony with singing, Spoken Word poetry and for each executed person, a brief eulogy and their name announced by either a family member, friend, lawyer, pen pal or an exonerated death row inmate. It was humbling and made a powerful impact bringing tears to our eyes. The ages of the executed were from 26 to 68.

Christina Logan 

NC Death Penalty by the Numbers

136 people on death row.

60% are people of color.

Nearly half were sentenced by overwhelmingly white juries.

2 times more likely to be sentenced to death if victim of the murder is white.

12 innocent people exonerated.

11 exonerees are people of color.

43 people executed since 1976.

2006: the last year someone was executed.

2023: the last year someone was sentenced to death.

10 capital trials are scheduled for 2023.

$2.16 million average additional cost for each case resulting in execution vs. sentenced to life in prison.

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