Will You Be Watching The Debate Tonight?

For Death Penalty Action, there’s only one question: Will President Donald Trump attempt to create a “Dukakis moment” for Joe Biden by raising the death penalty in the presidential candidate debate — once again using federal executions as a political tool?

If the issue comes up, that triggers our moment to raise the profile of the issue and find more people to join our cause. Please be ready to share our messages on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

As you know, having conducted a record-setting seven executions in the past eleven weeks, the Trump campaign has scripted federal executions as part of their “law and order” messaging. Seven prisoners will have been killed to create Trump’s political soundbite. How will Vice President Biden react?

We can’t let that stand, and we won’t. We don’t know if Joe Biden will be ready to pivot on the issue, but you can be. That’s why we want to offer the following Pivot Points any of us should be ready to make any time we are discussing the death penalty:

  • We can be safe from dangerous individuals and hold them accountable without killing them. This is what we do in the vast majority of cases where the death penalty is possible. Most killers get a sentence of “death by incarceration,” also known as life in prison with no possibility of parole.
  • The death penalty does not deter killers any more than incarceration does. Every death penalty trial is a gamble with tax-payer’s money because even if a conviction is certain, fewer and fewer juries’ hand down death sentences these days.
  • Executions do not serve the needs of murder victim families, and it is a misnomer to suggest that the possible execution of a killer years in the future might help the victim families.
  • Executions run the risk of getting it wrong in a way that cannot be corrected. At this writing, there have been 172 exonerations of wrongly convicted Americans sent to death row, and those are just the ones who have been freed so far. Even one wrongful execution is too many.
  • The death penalty is racist in its application. One of the greatest indicators of which killers get a death sentence is that the victim was white. The maps that show where lynchings happened regularly are remarkably similar to the maps where the most state executions have taken place.

How you can take action NOW:

Thank you,


Abraham J. Bonowitz, Director

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Death Penalty Action provides high visibility resources, leadership and support in order to stop executions.

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