August 29, 2017

Our show this Tuesday, August 29th, 12:00-1:00 PM, Eastern Time, will feature a one-on-one interview with Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, about the national fight to eliminate the death penalty at the state and federal levels. The United States is an international outlier when it comes to the death penalty. Indeed, the U.S. Is the only G7 country with the death penalty. However, American support of the death penalty has been declining and national movements have resulted in several states ending capital punishment. We will explore the current state of the death penalty in the U.S. And the plans of the abolitionist movement.

Since 2004 Diann Rust-Tierney has been the leader of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) an organization founded in 1976 after the Supreme Court of the U.S. In Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, reversed its prior decision in Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 288, 1972, and allowed states to reimpose the death penalty. NCADP works with its 100 affiliates nationwide to fight to have states adopt legislation banning capital punishment. Prior to joining NCADP, Ms. Rust-Tierney was the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Capital Punishment Project in Washington, D.C. See guest picture and bio at

Last week, the Gov of Missouri, Gov. Eric Greitens, stayed the execution of Marcellius Williams based on new DNA evidence which shows lack of a match on the murder weapon. Also, last week, the State of Florida executed Mark Asay, a White supremacist, for the racially motivated murders of two non-White persons. Besides moral objections to the death penalty, many were opposed to the State’s controversial use of an experimental drug to kill Mark Asay.

Objections to the death penalty range from moral grounds, to racial disparities, to the cruel and inhumane execution methods including hangings, electrocutions, and experimental drug injection; to costs; to the lack of evidence that these killings serve a deterrent purposeto the critical issues of wrongful conviction. Since 1989, over 311 persons have been exonerated of crimes they did not commit based on DNA evidence. A significant 18 exonerations were of persons on death row, sentenced to death. The racial disparities are staggering: 70% of all exonerees are people of color. Other data shows that only 20 Whites have been executed in US for killing Blacks but 288 Blacks executed for killing Whites. There are even organizations of families of murder victims who actively oppose the death penalty for these and other reasons.

Our show will explore these issues and more including: Which states still impose the death penalty?; Which states account for the most people on death row?; Where are there active movements to abolish the death penalty?; Why are American attitudes changing about the death penalty?; Is the fight against the death penalty a racial justice fight?; How can our listeners become involved in the death penalty abolition movement?

You don’t want to miss this show!

Be sure to listen live on Tuesday, August 29th, 12:00-1:00 PM, Eastern Time, in the DC Metro Region at WOL 1450 AM and worldwide on the Internet at If you have questions or comments, please call us at 800-450-7876. A podcast of the show will be available after 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

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Diann Rust-Tierney

Diann Rust-Tierney is an expert in the movement to eliminate the death penalty in the U.S. In 2004 she became the Executive Director of the […]