Sending Office: Honorable Adriano Espaillat
Cosponsor H.R. 4022 – The Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act of 2019
Current Cosponsors: Schakowsky, Moore, Norton, Lee (CA), Serrano, Tlaib, Eshoo, Cardenas, Wild, Johnson (GA), Ocasio-Cortez
In response to Attorney General Barr’s announcement, I invite you to cosponsor
H.R. 4022, the Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act of 2019.
There are myriad reasons to oppose the death penalty. One of the most crucial is the heavy racial bias of those on death row, and the fact that death sentences are disproportionately handed out if the victim is white, but the alleged perpetrator is not.
No instance better demonstrates this than the story of the Central Park Five. People on death row can be found innocent and exonerated. But if executed, there is no turning back. This uncomfortable truth has been a stain on America’s justice system for too
long, and it must come to an end.
The list of reasons to oppose the death penalty could go on, from its cost to the taxpayers to its improper use on those with mental illness. But when it comes down to it, there need only be one reason: it is morally wrong. It is wrong for a government to
decide to take the life of another person as recompense for a crime committed, no matter how heinous.
The death penalty forgets a core tenet of humanity – human beings change. Humans have an immense capacity to learn, to heal, and to grow. Executing someone denies this principle and gives no course for a human being to change. A person is not defined by
the worst choice they made, but the death penalty only views someone’s life through this narrow lens. And what’s more – it undermines the core vision upon which this nation was founded.
As Pope Francis said before a Joint Meeting of Congress in 2015:
The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development. This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global
abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my
brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension
of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.
A human life is an invaluable thing, and no government established on the values of life and liberty can use the theft of a person’s life as a punishment.
Specifically, this bill comprehensive bill would:
- Repeal a wide range of criminal offenses under United States Federal Criminal Code, the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
- Convert sentences of those currently on death row into a sentence of life in prison without parole.
- Prohibit the sentencing of death as a penalty for any pending or future violations of Federal law.
If you would like to be added as a cosponsor, or have any questions, please contact
|Member of Congress|
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