Legislative Action

Don’t Expand Tennessee’s Death Penalty

Tell Lawmakers to Vote “No” on HB1663/SB1834

It’s costly & unconstitutional.

Expanding the death penalty to non-lethal child rape, as this bill intends to do, will require a challenge to established U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and success is far from a guarantee. The financial resources TN would have to spend and the trauma to child victims during that process cannot be overstated.

It delays legal finality.

Capital appeals necessarily stretch on for decades, and a huge percentage of cases are overturned requiring new trials. Child victims of death penalty cases will be attached to this decades long process as they grow up with no certainty of a specific outcome.

It has unintended consequences.

Children are most often sexually abused by someone they know and trust. Child advocates have testified that they fear passage of this bill will chill reporting and prevent accountability for perpetrators.