April 5, 2012
Contact: Suzanne Patzer, media contact,
Green Party Congressional candidate Bob Fitrakis
calls for end to the death penalty
In response to U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost’s ruling that allows Ohio to resume the death penalty, Green Party Congressional candidate Bob Fitrakis (3rd district) called for the abolition of the death penalty in the United States. He echoed the Green Party’s official position: “We oppose the death penalty. Capital punishment is ineffective, racially biased and leads to errors which are unacceptable.”
“There is nothing the state of Ohio can do to fix its barbaric and broken death penalty process. I agree with the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Blackmun, ‘The process is so fatally flawed that the only solution lies in abolishing capital punishment,’” said Fitrakis.
“The European Union and virtually all western industrialized democracies have outlawed the death penalty, even the former Soviet Union, Russia, has banned it. Out of the nearly 200 nations of the world, only 20 allow their government to kill people. The United States is in the top five, with China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq,” Fitrakis stated.
In his book The Fitrakis Files: Free Byrd and Other Cries for Justice, Fitrakis documented the flaws of Ohio’s death penalty, the racist and classist nature of its application, as well as other brutalities in our state’s prison industrial complex. “Approximately 25% of all the death row inmates in Ohio are sentenced in Hamilton County, which has a corrupt system that has sent many people to death not on factual evidence, but on the words of snitches,” Fitrakis said. In 1992, Fitrakis served as presidential candidate Jerry Brown’s spokesperson at the Democratic Party Platform Hearings and at the Democratic National convention where he introduced a plank seeking to abolish the death penalty.
Fitrakis will speak this Saturday, April 7 at a rally against the prison industrial complex and the death penalty. The rally will begin at 1pm at the Ohio Statehouse, Broad and High Streets. Participants plan to march west on Broad Street to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.