The Louisiana Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is a grassroots coalition dedicated to achieving non-violent and effective alternatives to the death penalty. We recognize that Louisiana’s death penalty is socially, racially and economically unjust. We believe that the state’s limited resources should be channeled into local communities to prevent crime and better support families affected by murder.
LCADP began the I Want to Serve campaign a year ago in conjunction with the Louisiana Interchurch Conference to lift up the voices of people who are not allowed to sit on capital juries because of their beliefs about the death penalty. IWTS has recently launched as a national joint project of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice and the Catholic Mobilizing Network to raise up voices across the country.
Juries Reject the Death Penalty in Louisiana:
Last Four of Five Death Penalty Trials Result in Life Sentences
Since the beginning of 2012, Louisiana juries have repeatedly rejected the death penalty in capital trials, reflecting a national trend in declining numbers of new death sentences.
In the cases of Kenneth Barnes (Orleans Parish), Samuel Jordan (Caddo Parish), Christopher Cope (Caddo Parish) and Daniel Prince (Acadia Parish), defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole following the sentencing phase of their capital trials.
Nationally, death sentences are at an all-time low. The number of new death sentences in 2012 was the near the lowest in the modern era of the death penalty, second only to the number in 2011. States such as North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Indiana didn’t sentence anyone to death at all.
Read more about the national trends in DPIC’s 2012 End of Year Report.
Recent Study Shows Harm of Executions for Murder Victims’ Families
A landmark study has been released which challenges the steadfast notion that the death penalty brings satisfaction and closure to murder victims’ families. It is the first systemic inquiry dealing directly with homicide survivors about whether obtaining capital punishment affects their healing. The study used in-person interviews with a randomly selected sample of survivors from four time periods to examine the totality of the death penalty process and its longitudinal impact on lives of murder victims’ families. It compared survivors’ experiences in Texas, a death penalty state, and Minnesota, a life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) state. In Minnesota, survivors of adjudicated cases show higher levels of physical, psychological, and behavioral health.
Marilyn Peterson Armour and Mark S. Umbreit, Assessing the Impact of the Ultimate Penal Sanction on Homicide Survivors: A Two State Comparison, 96 Marq. L. Rev. 1 (2012).
Read the study here: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol96/iss1/3/
PO Box 30712
New Orleans, LA 70190