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Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (VADP) is a statewide citizens' organization dedicated to educating the public about alternatives to the death penalty. In addition, we seek to provide outreach to murder victims' families.
The main VADP office is located in Charlottesville, but opportunities for voluntary involvement can be found throughout the state of Virginia.
The bases for our beliefs and actions include the following:
- The death penalty panders to fear and attempts to provide a simple solution to complex questions.
- The death penalty is ineffective. Numerous studies show that it does not deter crime.
- The death penalty, as applied today, discriminates against the poor, people of color, and the mentally impaired.
- Our opposition to the death penalty in no way negates or contradicts our sorrow over the loss of life suffered by murder victims and our compassion and sympathy for their families and friends.
- All of humanity's major wisdom traditions call on us to love one another and value human life. The state should not completely devalue human life and execute anyone by repeating a violent act.
- The death penalty saps our economic resources. Since it costs more to kill a prisoner than to rehabilitate or house one for life, executions waste tax dollars that can be spent much more effectively.
- Research shows that despite all legal safeguards, innocent people have been wrongly convicted of murder and have been killed by the state. Common sense tells us that because humans err, the justice system simply cannot be made foolproof. Some innocent people will die as long as we have a death penalty. These mistakes can never be corrected.
- Matt Sellman
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