Last week, the state of Alabama executed 44-year-old Nathaniel Woods for the murder of three police officers. As his execution date neared, a growing number of supporters argued against capital punishment for a case rife with flaws and at odds with the state’s practice of allowing a defendant to be condemned without a unanimous jury decision. As mass incarceration continues to end lives, tear families apart, and tarnish our democracy, now’s the time to take action against this unjust system.
This week’s Take Action Now gives you ways to oppose the death penalty, fight for sentencing reform, and support formerly incarcerated people in their reentry process.
Take Action Now gives you three meaningful actions you can take each week whatever your schedule. You can sign up here to get these actions and more in your inbox every Tuesday.
NO TIME TO SPARE?
Nathaniel Woods’s state of Alabama is particularly aggressive when it comes to capital punishment, but 29 other states serve the death penalty, too. Learn more by checking out the Death Penalty Information Center’s 2019 year-end report and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s list of upcoming cases. Then, send a letter to your elected officials calling on them to end the death penalty.
GOT SOME TIME?
Capital punishment is one piece of a vast system of penal injustice. Check out Families Against Mandatory Minimum’s list of current action items to tell your state legislators to support crucial sentencing reforms. Then, sign the Prison Phone Pledge to demand that the FCC and your representatives end price-gouging by the US prison telephone industry. Next, spread the word about the Restore Your Vote campaign to help inform people with past convictions—up to 18 million of whom are eligible to vote—about their rights.
READY TO DIG IN?
More than half a million people are released from prison every year with essentially no help in facing the challenges of re-entering society. Sign the Fair Chance Pledge to fight for an end to policies that discriminate against formerly incarcerated people. Then, tell Congress to support the REAL Act, which would reverse the 1994 ban on federal financial aid for incarcerated people and help lower recidivism rates by giving people access to college courses while they are incarcerated. Finally, check out the Equal Justice Initiative’s list of volunteer opportunities across the country and find out how you can support a reentry or criminal justice reform organization in your community.