Retired Police Chief Leon E. Frazier signs on, calling death penalty "inhumane and ineffective".
I am writing to invite you to sign on to a new network of current and former law enforcement officials who are concerned that the death penalty is not being carried out effectively, accurately, or fairly.
As a law enforcement officer, the public looks to you for guidance about issues of crime and punishment. People respect your opinion about the effectiveness of our criminal justice system because you have devoted your skills to keeping our communities safe, and in some cases have put your life on the line.
We recognize that law enforcement people need the right tools to fight crime. Several years ago, a national survey of police chiefs found that most rated the death penalty their lowest priority for spending when it comes to deterring crime. We are concerned about public safety and about the best use of crime fighting resources. Given that there is not a bottomless pit of funding, more and more law enforcement officials are recognizing that these resources might be better spent on more law enforcement tools and services for victims’ families.
Still others are concerned that the system is not carried out fairly or accurately. Public opinion on the death penalty has shifted dramatically in the last five years and many Alabamians now support a moratorium on executions while the system’s flaws are studied and addressed. Alarmed by the growing body of evidence of bias and error in the system, denial of post conviction DNA testing hundreds of grassroots organizations in Alabama have called for an immediate halt to executions.
We are initiating a new project in Alabama to bring these different perspectives of the law enforcement community together, united under the common sense premise that the current system is not working. We invite you to be a member of this growing network. Whether you support the death penalty and have concerns about its use, or you are an opponent of executions in general, your voice is needed and your perspective is welcome.
To add your voice, please fill out the form below, indicating what level of involvement you are willing to have (your options range from being a name in a database to signing letters when asked or more). In the future, depending on the interest you’ve expressed to us, we may call upon you to sign onto letters to newspapers, assist organizations in Alabama, or share your perspective on this issue in a public forum or privately with individual decision-makers.
Thank you for your commitment to public safety and effective criminal justice. We appreciate your leadership and look forward to working with you in the future.