From Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (PADP, http://www.pa-abolitionists.org/):
House Bill 1996–-The Racially Discriminatory Capital Sentencing Act (http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2009&sind=0&body=H&type=B&BN=1996)–-amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, eliminating the possibility of the use of the capital punishment if “race was a significant factor in a decision to seek or impose the sentence of death.” This bill seeks not only to lessen the number of individuals that receive the death penalty, but also to mend the appalling racial disparity on death row.
The House Judiciary Committee (http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/cteeInfo/cteeInfo.cfm?cde=24&body=H) held a hearing on this legislation on Monday, July 19. PADP is calling for advocates to show their support for HB 1996!
While calls to all legislators are important, it is especially important to contact your Representative if he/she is a member of the Judiciary Committee (link above). To find Representatives not on this committee, go to http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm. Please urge your PA Representative to support HB 1996—that your faith calls you to ensure justice that does not recognize race as a factor in sentencing.