Support Victims, Reduce Violence, Redirect Savings When murder happens, it is the family of the victim that suffers the most and the longest, yet our system focuses exclusively on the murderer. We believe that it is time to shift our focus and put victims’ families first. Financial support for children who lost a parent to murder Expanded services such as: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Grief counseling Crisis intervention Funeral assistance Crime scene cleanup Emergency funds Unpaid employee leave to attend court proceedings The death penalty is an unfair, racist, violent system fraught with human error. It is arbitrary. In the U.S., 2% of known murderers are sentenced to death. Race or the location of the crime are more compelling factors than the nature of the crime. It is not reserved for the worst of the worst. Race-of-victim and race-of-defendant discrimination. PA study—blacks 4 times more likely to get DP. Only 1% of all chief District Attorneys in counties using the death penalty in the US are AfricanAmerican. A recent Cornell University study of the death penalty found that 70% of Delaware death sentences were imposed in white victim cases, although the majority of murder victims over the same time period were black. Death Sentence Rate per 1000 Murders (1977-2011) Black Offender- White Offender- Black Offender- White Offender – White Victim White Victim Black Victim Black Victim 178.5 51.9 25.5 88.2 Georgia 99.2 41.7 4.5 21.4 Indiana 42.3 21.6 5.6 0 Maryland 52.2 14.0 2.4 7.3 101.1 37.0 24.9 12.5 Pennsylvania 48.6 22.2 17.7 11.9 South Carolina 67.8 27.1 2.9 50.3 Virginia 64.5 18.3 3.6 2.3 State Delaware Nevada In a 2005 survey of 500 police chiefs, 2% said that the death penalty was an effective way to reduce violent crime. Higher priorities included increasing the number of police officers, reducing drug abuse, and creating a better economy. Murder rates higher in death penalty states. 2007 2008 2009 Murder rate DP 5.83 5.72 5.26 Murder rate non-DP 4.10 4.05 3.9 % difference 42% 41% 35% Since 1973, 140 people have been released from death rows in 26 states with evidence of their innocence. Only a small number due to DNA. Every study ever conducted has concluded that the death penalty is more expensive than life without parole. ◦ California spends an estimated $137 M per year. ◦ Florida spends about $51 M per year. ◦ Maryland found 20 yrs of DP cost $186 M for five executions. Voters listed the DP last as a priority for state spending after emergency services, creating jobs and crime prevention. Use of the death penalty perpetuates violence and the notion that the use of violence to solve problems is okay. “Why to we kill people, to show people, that killing people is wrong?” Research has shown that murders actually occur more often in the weeks and months immediately after an execution. Family members who have lost a loved one to murder. Family members of the person executed. State officials and state employees who work with death row prisoners and who must oversee executions. Jurors asked to sentence someone to death. Prosecuting and defense attorneys, judges and court personnel who work on death penalty trials. A least 100 persons known to have been severely mentally ill have been executed in the U.S. Several hundred more are on death rows across the country. In Delaware, Shannon Johnson, who we executed in April, was known to be mentally ill and probably mentally retarded. James Cook, who was recently re-sentenced to death is also known to be mentally ill. NAMI has long been against execution of the mentally ill. “Prevention, Not Execution” is key. Even though state laws list mental disease and defects as a factor that should mitigate against the death penalty, there is evidence that defendants with severe mental illnesses are more likely to be sentenced to death than those convicted of similar crimes without mental illnesses. In the report “The Execution of Mentally Ill Offenders,” AI suggested that murders committed by people with severe mental illness raise questions of societal responsibility—and failure of responsibility— in a particularly vivid way. More often than not, warning signs were not heeded and adequate services were not provided. This is not to excuse or condone crime by the mentally ill or anyone else for that matter. Horrendous murderers need to be severely punished, but life without parole keeps our communities safe without perpetuating violence. Repeal the death penalty and redirect savings to support victims of crime—the way forward for Delaware.