Stop Executions in Tennessee

Governor Lee

Sign the petition to let Governor Lee know that we should not use a racially biased death penalty system to execute people.

To: Governor Lee
From: [Your Name]

Tennessee’s death penalty system is deeply flawed and cannot be fixed. It is not fiscally responsible, fails to make our communities safer, risks the execution of the innocent, and is not equitably applied. Its origins in our state are deeply rooted in lynchings and other forms of racial violence directed at Black Tennesseans. This legacy continues to shape how the system operates today, as Black and Brown defendants in Tennessee face disadvantages because of their race at every stage of the death penalty process, from charging and jury selection, to sentencing.

The death penalty system also makes false promises to victims’ families, who spend decades in a legal process that keeps them trapped in their trauma, and yet for numerous reasons, rarely results in an execution. Alternative sentences would provide legal finality much sooner, sometimes as soon as the trial is over.

If Tennesseans truly want to embrace a culture of life and to find effective responses to crime, we should focus on healing, crime prevention, and investing in trauma-informed solutions that focus on accountability, mental health, and early intervention to prevent crime.

We should be solving more violent crimes, and we should get victims of violence and surviving families of murder victims the resources that they need to heal so that their healing isn't reliant on what happens to the people who've caused them harm. Currently, Tennessee is tied for fifth highest among states that deny compensation to victims of crime, with a disproportionate number of Black victims of crime denied compensation.

We call on the Governor to consider these troubling realities and to continue the pause on executions in the state until these issues of fairness and accuracy can be fully addressed.

Join us in promoting a culture of life, healing, and creating a community that is safe for us all.