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Advisory Board Member Ursula Malchau to Jason D. Hoff CEO of Mercedes Benz U.S. International

To Mr. Jason D. Hoff, CEO of Mercedes Benz U.S. International



Dear Mr. Hoff,


Congratulation on the 20th anniversary of production in Tuscaloosa/Alabama! It is a great story of success, and apparently this story will be continued, even extended.


You bring jobs and tax revenues to the state of Alabama, and therefore you play a vital part in its economic policies which prompted Gov. Kay Ivey to state the following:


„In den vergangenen zwei Jahrzehnten ist MBUSI zu einem enorm wichtigen Partner für die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung in der Region geworden und wir freuen uns darauf, diese Partnerschaft in den kommenden Jahren weiter zu stärken.“


During the past 20 years of the continuous expansion of your company, 48 men were executed by the state of Alabama. Some were most likely innocent, although there is no longer a possibility of proving this – as after an execution the evidence which should have been tested for DNA before an execution and which the state denied is no longer available. However actual innocence is not the main reason why state sanctioned murder should be abolished.


Currently, the state of Alabama plans to kill another inmate, 67 year old Vernon Madison. Mr. Madison has suffered severe strokes, which caused vascular dementia and other significant physical and mental problems. He is legally blind. His speech is slurred. He cannot walk independently. He is incontinent. His disability leaves him without a memory of his commission of a capital offense.


Not only does this case illustrate the moral dubiousness of the death penalty but some other severe flaws in Alabama's general capital sentencing scheme establish serious doubts about fairness. Arbitrariness and racial bias are just two significant examples.


Another problem is the state's method of execution. The current lethal injection protocol is under scrutiny since the drugs used led to horribly botched executions in Alabama and other states. However, Alabama doesn't care. It still plans to use the infamous drug Midazolam although even the manufacturer objects to its use for executions.


Nationwide, the use of the death penalty decreased dramatically. Not so in the U.S. southern states like Alabama. Only 5 states carried out executions this year, among them, of course, Alabama.


The death penalty is a blatant violation of Human Rights. There is no doubt and the immorality in the taking of human lives cannot be justified by the fact that it is the state which does the killing.


In closing, Mercedes-Benz as a German company does I am sure feel committed to Human Rights, especially after the experiences in the “3. Reich” and the role Daimler Benz played during that time. Your role as an important contributor to Alabama’s economics gives your voice influence far beyond economic issues. I respectfully ask you to lift it to help bring about a moratorium on capital punishment. Gov. Kay Ivey will have an open ear for you. Please consider: There is not such a thing as an innocent bystander. Silence means consent.



Ursula Malchau

Advisory Board Member of


Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty