New Mexico Abolishes the Death Penalty

March 18, 2009, was Death Penalty Abolition Day in New Mexico!
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has signed into law the bill to repeal the death penalty in that state.  New Mexico has become the second state since 1965 to legislatively abolish the death penalty.  I know you will join me in applauding and congratulating Governor Richardson and the people of New Mexico for taking this important step.

Today marks the culmination of a campaign that started more than ten years ago in New Mexico.  To everyone who had a hand in today’s success, we at the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty offer our thanks and our congratulations.

While we celebrate this important victory for human rights, let us not forget that ours is an issue rooted in tragedy, pain and suffering.  Please take a moment to reflect on or pray for the families who have lost loved ones to murder, for the families of those accused and facing punishment for the crime of murder, for the members of law enforcement who must deal with the aftermath of murder, and yes, for those condemned to death, guilty or not.

Today, I ask you to take two important actions.

#1:  Please take a few minutes to mail a hand written note of thanks to Governor Richardson.  What he did was both just and proper, and he needs to know that his action is appreciated.

Governor Bill Richardson
Office of the Governor
490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501

#2:  There is so much more work to be done.  Thirty-five states still have the death penalty.  As we did in New Mexico, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is working to ensure that effective and strategic campaigns are in place across the nation.  With your help, we can do more.  Please make a generous contribution today to help NCADP continue to be a useful partner to the efforts of our affiliates, the folks who are on the front lines every day in this struggle.  Your support makes it happen. 

Thank you.

DIANN RUST-TIERNEY is Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.