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Moratorium Talking Points

1. Halt executions for 3 years while an impartial study is conducted into the fairness of the application of the death penalty. No one will be released!

2. Al has the highest per capita d/r population and leads the nation in the rate of new death sentences per capita.

3. Per capita Alabama executed more people in 2011 than any other state and with 6 executions ranked second in the nation after Texas.

4. Alabama has no statewide public defenders office and has inadequate compensation fees for court appointed attorneys. Poor initial representation by attorneys with minimal qualifications means loss of issues, no investigation etc. More than a dozen men on death row are now without an attorney and 70% on death row had lawyers who were only paid $1,000 for preparation of trial.

5. Alabama is the only state that doesn’t provide attorneys for post-conviction appeals.

6. Jury override. A judge, with an eye to reelection can override the sentence recommendation of the jury for life or death. Almost one in 4 is on death row because of judicial override. In 2008, an election year, 30% of death sentences were imposed by judicial override of jury life verdicts.

7. Alabama legislature has refused to enact laws enforcing the Supreme Courts prohibition of the execution of mentally retarded individuals. Psychiatric illness is not seen as a mitigating factor.

8. Death row is 50% white, 50% black. Alabama population is 71% white, 26% black. White victims account for 35% of murder victims, yet 80% of those on death row have been convicted of the murder of a white victim. Of the 55 executed in Alabama since 1986, 44 had been convicted of killing a white victim.

9. Less than 5% of the judges who preside over a capital case in Alabama are African American.

10. Since 1976, 88% of the people who have been executed were tried and convicted by juries, which were significantly underrepresented by African Americans. 35% of the juries were all white, and 7 African Americans who were executed had an all white jury.

11. Post conviction DNA testing is often denied in Alabama.

For further information please contact Esther Brown at (334) 499-0003, or beesther@earthlink.net or write to Esther Brown, P.O. Box 1362, Lanett, Al 36863