Resolution on the Death Penalty

Adopted by the House of Delegates, North Carolina Council of Churches, April 23, 1987

WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday (April 22, 1987) by a 5 to 4 decision upheld as constitutional the Georgia State Court’s imposition of the death penalty in the McCleskey case, despite strong and convincing evidence demonstrated in the Baldue study that a criminal defendant is 11 times more likely to receive the death sentence in the courts of the state if the victim was white than if the victim was black; and

WHEREAS, The N.C. General Assembly now has before it proposed legislation to protect children seventeen years of age or under from the receiving the death sentence; and

WHEREAS, the Council considers it especially important, in light of the McCleskey decision, to reaffirm its long-standing opposition to the death penalty;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that this Council does reaffirm its opposition to the death penalty and requests its member churches to:

  1. Petition the N.C. General Assembly to enact the bill which would protect children from the death penalty and, further, to introduce and enact a bill which would abolish the death penalty for all persons, and
  2. Petition the governor of North Carolina to commute the sentences of those persons now on Death Row.

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