Group launches bid to repeal NC death penalty
Posted December 2, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. — A coalition of religious leaders is launching an effort to repeal the death penalty in North Carolina.
People of Faith Against the Death Penalty announced the campaign Friday in Raleigh. The group wants to secure 1,000 resolutions from religious groups, local governments and community organizations calling for an end to capital punishment in the state. They would like to replace it with life in prison without parole.
The group said the money spent should be saved to hep support murder victims' families.
They also plan to circulate a petition modeled on their drive for a moratorium in 1999. At that time, the group gathered more than 50,000 signatures.
People of Faith Executive Director Stephen Dear said most Christian denominations have been against the death penalty for decades.
"We're trying to call attention to that fact and call people from other faith traditions and say the time has come to repeal the death penalty," Dear said.
The campaign kicks off days after the state Senate voted to repeal the Racial Justice Act, which allows death row inmates to appeal their sentences using statistical evidence to argue that racial bias played a role in their cases.
The group said they hope that Gov. Bev Perdue will veto that repeal.