“The American people, fully informed as to the purposes of the death penalty and its liabilities, would in my view reject it as morally unacceptable.” The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) has taken Justice Thurgood Marshall’s words as gospel, and is now in its 41st year of transforming his insight into action.

NCADP serves as a resource for 100 grassroots organizations seeking abolition at the state and municipal levels.

Philanthropy must invest in the basic infrastructure necessary for organizations like NCADP to be successful in informing and persuading the public about the injustice of many of our social institutions and systems, and it must commit to doing so over the long term. It’s worth reviewing why the death penalty should be discarded:

  • For every 11 people sentenced to death since 1973, 10 have been executed and one has later been exonerated. This is an egregious error rate for something so consequential.
  • Capital punishment is more expensive than alternative sentences. California has spent $4 billion on the death penalty since 1978.
  • The death penalty has no deterrent effect on murder rates in the United States.

NCADP continues to push forward, with or without ideal funding. In 2014, the coalition launched the 90 million strong campaign to empower individual activists with the tools and resources necessary to erase the death penalty. Their dogged pursuit of a more humane criminal justice system should hearten observers in the philanthropic community. But is it right that an organization with such an undeniably consequential mission should have to thrift its way through this fight?

Read the full article about NCADP by Troy Price at National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.