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Green Party of California

Green Party cites ‘humane treatment' in call for moratorium on death penalty on eve of execution of blind man in wheelchair

For immediate release: Monday, January 15, 2006

Cres Vellucci, State Press Office, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Sara Amir (Los Angeles) 310-270-7106,
Susan King (San Francisco) 415-823-5524,

SACRAMENTO (January 16, 2006) – The Green Party of California Monday repeated its call for a moratorium on executions in California – on the eve of the killing of Clarence Ray Allen, who turns 76 today and is due to die by lethal injection shortly after midnight.

"We recognize the need to protect society from violent criminals, but support a basic right to life and humane treatment. We therefore implore our leaders to call for an end to the death penalty and seek other forms of punitive actions, such as life in prison without the possibility of parole," said Susan King, a GPCA spokesperson in San Francisco.

Allen is the second Californian to die at the hands of the state in a little more than month – Stan Tookie Williams was executed in December. Williams' supporters begged the Governor to grant clemency for the former gang leader, who developed a "Protocol for Street Peace" which has been used by rival gangs around the country and the world to broker gang truces. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Price five times. He was still executed.

Allen will become the oldest man put to death in California since voters restored capital punishment in 1978. His age, and the fact that he is legally blind, diabetic and will need a wheelchair to make his way to the death chamber has led to calls for clemency.

The Green Party – unlike the Republican and Democratic parties – opposes the death penalty because "executions are motivated more by vengeance than by justice, (and) evidence is mounting that shows innocent people are being sentenced to death due to inadequate defense, and false testimony from other criminals seeking reduction of their sentence."

King quoted from the GPCA platform, noting "over-zealous prosecution and executing criminals has not proven to be an effective deterrent to crime (and) it does not address the underlying causes of crime: lack of economic opportunity and education, drug use, child abuse and other factors."


The Green Party of California
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437