Monday, April 23, 2007

 

ABA Joins the Fray!

Today the American Bar Association released its assessment of the Tennessee death penalty system. The report details a huge number of injustices and flaws in Tennessee's death penalty system and calls for a moratorium on executions until they can be addressed.

The assessment was conducted by a team of seven Tennessee legal experts, including a former Attorney General, a law professor, and a Federal judge, and finds that, of the 93 benchmarks set to guarantee the fair an accurate administration of the death penalty, Tennessee is only in full compliance with 7! Regardless of your feelings about the death penalty, that's got to be a scary number for you!

The report specifically sites the Paul House case several times and additionally finds that:
  • Racial and geographic disparities plague Tennessee's death penalty

  • DNA evidence does not have to be preserved at all stages of the process

  • Tennessee sentences people with severe mental disabilities to death

  • Problems with inadequate defense counsel persist.

  • There are inadequate mechanisms for examining claims of factual innocence.

The release of this report is extremely well-timed as we being our own push to ask the Governor to extend the moratorium. You can join in the action by clicking here to send an email and fax to the Governor calling on him to extend his moratorium, and you can forward the action page to all of your friends!

Take action now!

You can read more about the ABA report here and in today's Tennessean.

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