Urge Biden, Garland, Congress, SCOTUS: Demolish the Death House & Abolish the Death Penalty

President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Members of the US Congress & The US Supreme Court

January 17, 2022 was the 45th anniversary of the first execution in the current death penalty era. Gary Gilmore was executed on that date in 1977 for his murders of Max Jensen and Ben Bushnell. The United States has now executed 1,548 prisoners since 1977, and it is time to end executions once and for all.

[Operative petition language is below.]

This petition was presented to the White House, the Department of Justice, the US Congress & the US Supreme Court on Martin Luther King Day, January 17, 2022. We continue to make the following demands:

President Biden:

  • Immediately commute the sentences of those currently on federal and military death rows;
  • Order a halt to the seeking of new death sentences in federal prosecutions;
  • Demolish the federal execution chamber and the building it is housed in at FCI Terre Haute. Yes, BULLDOZE IT;  
  • Pledge to support and sign HR 262/SB 582, the Federal death Penalty Prohibition Act, which abolishes federal and military death penalty laws, removing the possibility of death sentences, and re-sentencing those currently on federal and military death rows.

Attorney General Garland:

  • Declare that the death penalty will not be sought in any federal prosecutions;
  • Order the withdraw of all remaining "death notices;"
  • Support efforts in Congress to pass the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act.

US Congress:

  • Pass the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act.
  • Incentivize states that still have capital punishment to repeal all statutes allowing for capital punishment.

US Supreme Court & Federal Judiciary:

Reject the death penalty as a legitimate expression of justice, and declare it unconstitutional as a violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

BACKGROUND:

People oppose executions based on moral, faith, economic, and other pragmatic reasons why the death penalty is a failed public policy, and we are united in calling for abolition of capital punishment in the United States.

The words carved into the face of the United States Supreme Court building are "Equal Justice Under Law." Fewer than 1% of those persons convicted of death-eligible homicides end up with a death sentence.

The death penalty treats people differently based on race, money, politics and geography, rather than the severity of the crime. What matters most in determining who gets a death sentence is the county or jurisdiction in which the crime is committed. Can that jurisdiction afford a death penalty prosecution? Is the (usually) elected official who decides whether or not to seek death running for reelection soon? What about the judge?

In addition to politics and geography, the race of the victim and the accused impact who goes to death row. We execute the mentally ill and those with diminished capacity. We can and must end the death penalty and repurpose the cost savings to provide better services for all families of murder victims and other co-victims, and greater efforts to prevent murders from happening at all.

* This language may be updated as needed by the organizers, however the main premise will not change.

Sponsored by

To: President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Members of the US Congress & The US Supreme Court
From: Johnny Zokovitch

January 17, 2022 was the 45th anniversary of the first execution in the current death penalty era. Gary Gilmore was executed on that date in 1977 for his murders of Max Jensen and Ben Bushnell. As of August 1, 2022, the United States has now executed 1,548 prisoners since 1977, and it is time to end executions once and for all.

President Biden:

* Immediately commute the sentences of those currently on federal and military death rows;
* Order a halt to the seeking of new death sentences in federal prosecutions;
* Demolish the federal execution chamber and the building it is housed in at FCI Terre Haute. Yes, BULLDOZE IT;
* Pledge to support and sign HR 262/SB 582, the Federal death Penalty Prohibition Act, which abolishes federal and military death penalty laws, removing the possibility of death sentences, and re-sentencing those currently on federal and military death rows.

Attorney General Garland:

* Declare that the death penalty will not be sought in any federal prosecutions;
* Order the withdraw of all remaining "death notices;"
* Support efforts in Congress to pass the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act.

US Congress:

* Pass the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act
* Incentivize states that still have capital punishment to repeal all statutes allowing for capital punishment.

​US Supreme Court & Federal Judiciary:

* Reject the death penalty as a legitimate expression of justice, and declare it unconstitutional as a violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Thank you,