Abolitionist Legacy

Dianne Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty had an excellent article published in The Huffington Post titled “We, Too, Are Abolitionists: Black History Month, Slavery, and the Death Penalty.”

Read it by CLICKING HERE.

Highlights include:

“If a slave killed his master or another white person, or raped a white woman, the penalty was automatic death. If a white person killed or raped a slave, the punishment might be imprisonment or a fine. Most crimes by whites against slaves went unpunished. The laws carried the clear, if unstated, message, that some lives are worth more than others. This is still true today, as there are more people of color sentenced to death whose victims were white than the reverse.”

“Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, said, “As one whose husband and mother-in-law have died the victims of murder and assassination, I stand firmly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for those convicted of capital offenses. . . An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed of retaliation. Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life. Morality is never upheld by legalized murder.”

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