News Release

Execution delayed, but issue left for next president; Clinton should be more courageous in action on federal death penalty

In response to President Bill Clinton’s decision yesterday to delay by six months the first federal execution in almost 40 years, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Edward Mallett issued the following statement: 

Washington, DC (December 8, 2000) -- “President Clinton’s action delaying by six months a decision whether our federal government will resume putting American citizens to death after almost 40 years is disappointing. In light of the overwhelming and uncontradicted evidence of systematic unfairness and the ever-mounting evidence of miscarriages of justice brought to light by post-conviction DNA testing, the only action that should allow any of us to sleep soundly is a full-scale moratorium on the death penalty at the federal level--at least until the fundamental flaws are corrected.

“Those statistics showing that three-fourths of federal death row inmates are non-Whites are not going to change with further study, and those DNA findings won’t somehow reverse themselves. And neither will the ongoing massacre of our own citizens unless and until our nation’s leaders summon the courage to do what is right.”

Mallett is a criminal defense lawyer in Houston. He can be reached at (713) 228-1521. 

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NACDL Communications Department

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.