This is a sample letter that is applicable to most death penalty cases. This letter is a protest to the usage of death penalty, therefore it minimize the risk of spreading confidential case information.
To: Governor (insert Governor’s name)
Re: (Insert inmate’s name) – planned execution (insert date of execution or other important event).
I write to ask that you do everything in your power to prevent this planned execution from being carried out and that you commute the death sentence to a life sentence without the possibility to parole.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed after World War II and recognizes each person’s right to life. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his/her life and the physical and moral integrity of his/her person. This view is reinforced by the existence of international and regional treaties providing for the abolition of the death penalty.
Death penalty is often discriminatory in its application and is often disproportionately used against disadvantaged people, who don’t have the societal advantages of high class/status, education and legal skills to exercises their lawful rights. A major role in the trial process is therefore played by the offender’s legal counsel, who is supposed to defend the offender in a professional way. It has many times been proved that the state appointed attorneys fail in their mission. It can therefore be questioned werther all death row prisoners have been provided with the proper legal security that is recognized to be the lawful right of all citizens.
It has been repeatedly demonstrated that the criminal justice system is not devoid of error and we now know that 139 individuals have been released from death row across the United States, since 1976; most often due to mistaken witness identification. The system of capital punishment is fallible, given that it is administered by fallible human beings. Miscarriages of justice can be committed and lives can be destroyed forever. How many more innocents and wrongfully convicted have to die because of justice mistakes?
Many times offenders with severe psychiatric diagnosis have been sentenced to death and also been executed, even though it has been proved by physicians and expertise that the inmate has suffered from mental illness. There are also examples of people suffering from temporary mental illness, for example PTS after active duty in the US army, who has been sentenced to death. How many more severely ill people will have to die because of the government failing to provide the proper care and treatment for these individuals?
There is also much worldwide concern regarding the use of lethal injection for executions. It is an inhumane, slow and painful execution method and there have been many reports that inmates have opened their eyes, moved their lips and moved their heads. Executions should not be carried out until more satisfactory methods can be found.
It has been observed many times that there is no correlation between homicides and the use of the death penalty as a deterrent. The only purpose of the death penalty is for revenge. Most nations in the world do not now have the death penalty as it is recognized as barbaric. The United States of America and Belarus are the only countries with a Judeo-Christian population that still use capital punishment. The abolition of the death penalty is most often seen as the hallmark of civilized countries.
Last, but maybe most importantly, most of the men and women on death row all over the US are physically healthy and strong men/women, who could be a great asset to the American society. To execute them is to fail them as individuals and citizens, but also to fail the American society.
I would like to remind you of the call from the UN General Assembly to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. I beg you to prevent this planned execution from being carried out and I beseech you to work for the abolition of capital punishment.
Thank you for your consideration to this important matter!
(name + address)
Here is a link to all planned executions in the US, click here.