Published: Jul 13, 2012 12:00 AM
Modified: Jul 12, 2012 06:53 PM
CARRBORO - Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen joined the Chapel Hill Town Council last month in unanimously passing a town resolution calling for North Carolina and the federal government and U.S. military to repeal the death penalty.
More than 700 North Carolina congregations and businesses, mostly small, family-owned local institutions in rural towns, have passed repeal resolutions, according to People of Faith Against the Death Penalty.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro are the first two local governments in North Carolina to call for repealing the death penalty and may be the first in the country to do so, the advocacy group said in a news release.
The resolutions call for using the money that would be saved by ending the death penalty to support programs to help murder victims’ family members and for programs to prevent violent crime.
People of Faith held a June community forum about the resolutions at St. Joseph C.M.E. Church in Chapel Hill. Attendees included representatives of the NAACP, clergy and lay leaders from area congregations, students, and business owners, including Mildred Council, the owner of Mama Dip’s Restaurant.
North Carolina has not had an execution since 2006. Since then murder rates in North Carolina have decreased significantly, according to the news release. Last year the state’s murder rate was at an all-time low. Still, in the recent legislative session, some lawmakers argued that the Racial Justice Act was holding up executions and thereby preventing the death penalty from deterring murder, said People of Faith executive director Stephen Dear..
In December, the group launched its NC Kairos Campaign. One of the initial goals of the campaign is to generate 1,000 resolutions from businesses, congregations, and community groups in every county in the state and even local governments.
PFADP is a national organization based in Carrboro and founded in 1994. Most of its funding comes from individuals and congregations, but support for PFADP’s Kairos Campaign also comes from the Triangle Community Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
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