Former New Mexico Governor explains why he abolished the death penalty in his state


Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson abolished the death penalty in his state in 2009 because, he says, “Empirical evidence and common sense convinced me that the death penalty is an ineffective deterrent, is unfairly applied and has become increasingly costly for states.”

In an op-ed in the Washington Post today, Richardson says states like Arkansas, which carried out six executions in April, and Delaware, where the state’s House of Representatives voted to reinstitute its death penalty after its state Supreme Court struck it down last year, could see the private sector boycotting them “in the same way that the private sector responded to anti-LGBT laws passed in states such as Indiana and North Carolina, death-penalty states have to recognize that our increasingly small world is watching, and organizing against wrong-headed public policy by redirecting investment dollars.”

Pointing out that two anti-death penalty candidates won their party’s nomination for district attorney in Jefferson County, Alabama and Philadelphia, Richardson says the tide is turning to ending the death penalty.

Still, he says, “I worry about America’s isolation on this critical human rights issue.”




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