Thursday, June 07, 2007
There are presently 38 states in the US that have continued the practice of capital punishment and 37 of those states use the controversial practice of lethal injection. Within recent years lethal injecting and the death penalty have come under heavy attacks from human rights organizations and the Peace and Freedom Party due to continuous botched procedures and the flagrant violation of the US Constitution. Presidential hopeful Stewart A. Alexander and the Peace and Freedom Party are committed to abolishing the death penalty in the United States. Candidate Alexander has been an outspoken opponent of capital punishment because it is a violation of human rights and it is a violation of the US Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Alexander has also criticized how capital punishment has remained an instrument for big business in America and is a multi-billion dollar enterprise for the prison industrial complex and the criminal justice system. Within recent years public attitudes regarding capital punishment has waned dramatically. Just over a decade ago US juries were sentencing over 300 individuals to death every year; and within recent years that number has decline to slightly above 100. Many jurors are refusing to buy into state sponsored murder and are choosing life sentences over death. Also many juries are choosing to side with more lenient sentences. In January 2003 Governor George Ryan of Illinois commuted the conviction of all 167 inmates on death row in the State of Illinois before he left office. In a speech Governor Ryan said he had concluded that capital punishment was applied unfairly and risked executing persons who where innocent. A prominent example of innocent persons on death row is political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. In December 1981 Mumia was framed for the murder of Philadelphia police office Daniel Faulkner and the State of Pennsylvania has used every means at its disposal, a staged crime scene, evidence that was fabricated, and a hand picked jury, to convict an innocent man and to put Mumia to death. Millions of people around the world have call for the release of Mumia; however in the face of overwhelming evidence that pointed to Mumia’s innocence the State of Pennsylvania is moving ahead in an attempt to have him executed. Alexander has charged that the US criminal justice system is racist and continues a practice of discrimination; he also charges that the death penalty has been carried out in an arbitrary manner, inflicted on ethnic minorities, the poor and the most vulnerable in this society. Killing prisoners has become big business in America and every person on death row will cost US tax payers as much as $10 million a year, or as much as a quarter of a billion dollars for the many years they will spend on death row, most often exceeding 20 years, for housing the inmate and for the heavy cost of appeals. As president of the United States Alexander will fight for a constitutional ban on the death penalty; he will also direct his attorney general to investigate the cover-up in the Mumia case by the state officials in Pennsylvania, potentially charging these officials with obstruction of justice for covering up the frame-up. Alexander says, “It is important for Americans to understand that America has a political system and a criminal just-us system that is broke; its a system that is being run by two parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, and they are out of touch with the will of the majority of Americans.” The Peace and Freedom Party has been a strong opponent to the death penalty since the establishment of the party in 1967. The organization has remained a strong advocate for the working class, the poor, and for human and civil rights. For more information search the Web for: Stewart A. Alexander; Death Penalty, $250 Million Tax Burden; “Worse Than We Thought” by Human Rights Watch. Note: The United States is the only major western nation that still employs the death penalty.
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