New York, NY – Across the United States, in observance of the March 1-International Death Penalty Abolition Day, student members of the National Lawyers Guild are speaking out in opposition to the death penalty. Every year, law school chapters participate in the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Student Day Against the Death Penalty by organizing panel discussions, debates, film screenings, and other events. There are currently more than 3000 people on death row.
MÃchel Angela Martinez, NLG National Student Organizer, says, "In poll after poll last year, more US citizens than ever stated that they opposed capital punishment. The reason is not a sudden epiphany: it is that students like those in the National Lawyers Guild make the death penalty an issue. We find state-sanctioned murder abhorrent, and holding events and demonstrations makes information available to the public, revealing the true nature of this barbaric practice." The NLG calls for the immediate abolition of the death penalty.
National Lawyers Guild students focus not only on the cruel and unusual nature of capital punishment, but on its economically and racially biased application. Students educate the public about the social and psychological impacts the death penalty has on those in the prison system, as well as families and communities. Capital punishment is being increasingly scrutinized as death row inmates are exonerated and states such as New Jersey officially outlaw the practice.
The National Lawyers Guild, an organization of attorneys, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers, is part of the growing national and international movement opposing the death penalty in the United States. Founded in 1937 as the first racially integrated bar organization, the NLG today comprises over 200 chapters and committees using the law in the service of the people.