Urge Pres. Biden to Commute the Federal Death Row

Clearing the federal death row is the best way to ensure that the U.S. government does not risk the irreversible horror of executing innocent people like Carlos DeLuna, whose case is documented in the film The Phantom. In 1989, Texas executed Mr. DeLuna for a murder that someone else likely committed.

Sign this petition above to urge President Biden to commute the sentences of people on federal death row. 

Why we should discontinue the federal death penalty: 

  • Since 1973, at least 185 people across the U.S. have been wrongly sentenced to death and exonerated. But those are just the cases we know of — for some, like Carlos DeLuna, the truth emerged too late and an innocent person was executed. 
  • Virginia recently ended the death penalty to ensure that no innocent people are executed in the state. The President can set a moral example that will help lead additional states.
  • Black people are only 13.4% of the nation’s population but make up 39% of prisoners on federal death row — some sentenced by all-white juries. Overall, 57% of people on federal death row are people of color, including disproportionate numbers of Latinos like Carlos DeLuna. 
  • Seven of the 13 executions carried out by the Trump administration were of people of color.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those executed by the federal government since the 1960s come from just three states — Texas, Virginia, and Missouri. All federal death sentences given in Virginia and the Eastern District of Missouri in the modern era, and 75% of those from Texas have been imposed on people of color.  
  • Just as in the states, prosecutorial misconduct, unreliable jailhouse informants, junk science, and grievous mistakes by defense counsel create a grave risk of wrongful convictions and sentences in the federal death penalty system.

The petition is in collaboration with Equal Justice USA, 8th Amendment Project, Witness to Innocence, ACLU, The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and Death Penalty Focus. Join us by adding your name to the petition above. 

We've helped free more than 240 innocent people from prison. Support our work to strengthen and advance the innocence movement.