Kucinich Introduces Bill To Abolish Federal Death Penalty
Washington, Dec 14 -
Bill, Introduced Today, Co-Sponsored By 39 Members Of Congress
Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), today, introduced legislation to abolish the federal death penalty. The Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act of 2005, currently co-sponsored by 39 Members of Congress, will put an immediate halt to executions and forbid the imposition of the death penalty as a sentence for violations of federal law.
"The death penalty is not an effective deterrent," stated Kucinich. "Homicide rates in states with the death penalty are no lower than rates in abolitionist states. Of the twelve states without the death penalty, ten have murder rates below the national average."
Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 122 men and women have been released from death row due to evidence of innocence. In addition, an audit released in late 2003 found that death penalty cases in Kansas cost significantly more than comparable non-death penalty incarcerations. The median cost for a death penalty case was $1.26 million while the median cost for a non-death penalty case was $740,000. Imposition of the death penalty is also racially and economically biased.
"I strongly believe that violent offenders must be severely punished and prevented from committing future crimes," continued Kucinich. "However, capital punishment is not the answer. The death penalty is not a deterrent, allows innocent people to be executed, and marginalizes the United States' in the fight for human rights in the international community."
Joining Kucinich on the bill are Reps. Neil Abercrombie, Michael Capuano, William Lacy Clay, Emanuel Cleaver, John Conyers, Elijah Cummings, Danny Davis, William Delahunt, Sam Farr, Bob Filner, Raul Grijalva, Luis Gutierrez, Alcee Hastings, Maurice Hinchey, Michael Honda, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Dale Kildee, Carolyn Kilpatrick, James Langevin, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, James McGovern, Cynthia McKinney, Edward Markey, Gregory Meeks, Gwen Moore, James Oberstar, John Olver, Major Owens, Charles Rangel, Bobby Rush, Jose Serrano, Pete Stark, Edolphus Towns, Nydia Velazquez, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson, Melvin Watt, and Lynn Woolsey.