Take Action Today! Contact Your Local State Attorney. Use Your Voice and Your Vote.
Ralph (Ron) Wright, the 27th innocent man sent to Florida’s Death Row for a crime someone else committed, describes the role and importance of the local State Attorney in his wrongful conviction and death sentence.
For 2019, and the first half of 2020, Florida leads the nation in the number of new death sentences. Your local State Attorney decides whether or not to seek a sentence of Death. The pipeline to the Death Chamber starts with them.
Since 1973, State Attorneys have prosecuted and caused at least 29 innocent Floridians, 22 of whom are people of color, to be sentenced to death for a crime someone else committed. For every three Florida executions, one innocent person on Death Row has been exonerated and released. A shocking rate of error.
State Attorneys have tremendous power to impact the lives of many thousands of people, their families, and entire communities. If someone is accused of committing a crime, it is not the police, but the local State Attorney who has the sole power to decide if criminal charges are filed and the severity of those charges. They alone decide who is deserving of jail sentence and who will instead be routed to a diversion program to help rebuild their life, or have charges dismissed. Florida leads the nation in prosecuting children in adult court and ultimately locking them up in adult prisons. To find out more, see “The Power of the State Attorney”.
Your vote matters. Please visit The Florida Division of Elections website to register to vote or update your information online. Every four years we have the ability to elect local State Attorneys who reflect our ideals and aspirations for criminal justice, equal justice under law, and accountability. Vote for the candidate of your choice and let those in office know where you stand on issues important to you. For a list of candidates in your district, please see the Florida Bar Association report: “State Attorneys Set For Significant Turnover in 2020”
Your voice matters. Please contact your local State Attorney to make your voice heard. Make your opinion count where the impact is the greatest. Click here to find your State Attorney’s contact information and district.
Sample Phone/Email Script
Subject: New Death Sentences and Death Resentences
As my State Attorney I urge you to consider each potential Death Penalty case and choose to seek Life, not Death. These costly, wasteful, and unnecessary procedures do nothing to make our communities safer, prevent violent crime, promote healing for victims’ families, or protect law enforcement and school children.
Recent polling indicates that a compelling majority of Florida voters prefer life sentences over death for those convicted of murder. Death penalty trials and death sentencing hearings, together with the years of continued litigation, re-traumatize victims’ families and force them to re-live the worst day of their lives over and over again.
I urge you to re-direct your resources to healing the community, helping victims of violent crime and their families, solving more rapes and homicides, and preventing violent crimes.