HR 573 - Ga Asso of Black Elected Officials

Georgia House of Representatives - 1995/1996 Sessions

HR 573 - Ga Asso of Black Elected Officials

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House Comm: / Senate Comm: / House Vote: Yeas Nays Senate Vote: Yeas Nays ---------------------------------------- House Action Senate ---------------------------------------- 3/14/95 Read 1st Time 3/14/95 Passed/Adopted ---------------------------------------- Code Sections amended:
HR 573 LC 19 2603 A RESOLUTION 1- 1 Relating to the Georgia Association of Black Elected 1- 2 Officials and its position relating to SB 113; and for other 1- 3 purposes. 1- 4 WHEREAS, the House Committee on Judiciary of the Georgia 1- 5 General Assembly is considering SB 113 to limit the right to 1- 6 habeas corpus appeal in death penalty cases; and 1- 7 WHEREAS, Michael Radstat, building on research by the 1- 8 Stanford Law Review, wrote a book, In Spite of Innocence, 1- 9 that documented 416 cases of innocent Americans who have 1-10 been convicted of potentially capital crimes; and 1-11 WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1992, in 1-12 Leonel Hererra vs. Texas, that a state may execute someone 1-13 who is deemed to have had a fair trial even when they can 1-14 prove their innocence; and 1-15 WHEREAS, the Supreme Court decision came to national 1-16 prominence when Time devoted a cover article to Roger 1-17 Calamine, a man executed by the State of Virginia although 1-18 DNA evidence which came to light after his trial 1-19 demonstrated his innocence; and 1-20 WHEREAS, since the death penalty was reinstated after the 1-21 Supreme Court's 1972 bar of its use, one-half of all persons 1-22 executed were African American, even though only 15 percent 1-23 of the country is African American; and 1-24 WHEREAS, a 1990 review of research by the federal general 1-25 accounting office confirmed a consistent pattern of 1-26 disparity in the imposition of the death penalty in the 1-27 United States and demonstrated that race is often the 1-28 crucial variable that explains the outcome of death penalty 1-29 cases; and 1-30 WHEREAS, since executions resumed in 1977, 236 people have 1-31 been executed, 200 or 85 percent of them for murdering white 1-32 people, even while white and black people are victimized by 1-33 crime in roughly equal numbers; and -1- (Index) LC 19 2603 2- 1 WHEREAS, Gary Nelson spent 11 years in Georgia's death row 2- 2 in Jackson, Georgia, before being able to prove his 2- 3 innocence and secure his release; and 2- 4 WHEREAS, the death penalty has never been demonstrated to 2- 5 have a deterrent effect; and 2- 6 WHEREAS, the use of state sanctioned violence sends a mixed 2- 7 message as we work to address the violence in our culture; 2- 8 and 2- 9 WHEREAS, the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials 2-10 (GABEO) affirms the fundamental right of those convicted of 2-11 capital crimes to have full and uninhibited access to the 2-12 use of habeas corpus appeals to seek to overturn wrongful 2-13 convictions; and 2-14 WHEREAS, GABEO finds that the death penalty results from a 2-15 broad pattern of individual discretionary decisions about 2-16 which cases police investigate, the DA prosecutes, the death 2-17 penalty is sought, and a jury convicts; and 2-18 WHEREAS, GABEO finds that these individual discretionary 2-19 decisions result in a racist pattern of imposing the death 2-20 penalty; and 2-21 WHEREAS, GABEO urges its members and their colleagues to 2-22 oppose SB 113 and other similar legislation which threatens 2-23 existing safeguards that could prevent Georgia from 2-24 executing innocent people who have been falsely convicted. 2-25 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF 2-26 REPRESENTATIVES that this body recognizes the position of 2-27 the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials with 2-28 regard to SB 113. 2-29 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the House of 2-30 Representatives is authorized and directed to transmit an 2-31 appropriate copy of this resolution to the Georgia 2-32 Association of Black Elected Officials. -2- (Index)

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