LATINO LEADERS APPLAUD DECISION BY STATE ATTORNEY AYALA TO NO LONGER PURSUE THE DEATH PENALTY IN FUTURE CASES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 40 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, stands firm with the decision of Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala to no longer pursue the death penalty in future cases. This decision comes at a critical time, as Florida recently approved a bill that reinstates the death penalty after its use was put on hold following the Hurst v. Florida verdict. With this reinstatement, State Attorney Ayala’s decision is of utmost importance in developing criminal justice reforms that provide for a more humane and fair criminal justice system.
NHLA strongly opposes the use of the death penalty and calls for terminating its implementation nationwide. Latinos and communities of color are adversely and disproportionately affected by discriminatory criminal justice practices, like the death penalty. Decisions such as that of State Attorney Ayala bring these unfair and discriminatory practices to the forefront of criminal justice reform.
“We proudly stand with State Attorney Aramis Ayala in her decision to no longer seek the death penalty as an appropriate punishment in future cases. The death penalty remains among the many unfair criminal justice practices that target Latinos and communities of color. State Attorney Ayala’s actions are exemplary in leading the nation toward a fairer criminal justice system and we are thankful for her bold work,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
“As stewards of ensuring the country’s commitment to equality and fairness for the Latino community I am fully aware of what this principled position means for marginalized communities and indeed, for all of America. What we need is more prosecutors like State Attorney Aramis Ayala. We thank her for her courage,” said Juan Cartagena, Chair of NHLA’s Criminal Justice Working Group and President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF.
“Hispanic Federation commends State Attorney Aramis Ayala for stating that she will no longer pursue the death penalty in future cases. People of color have endured a long history of unequal and harsh treatment within our criminal justice system, and abolishing the death penalty is an important step in ending the racial/ethnic disparities in punishment that plague the system overall. We hope that Ms. Ayala’s actions encourage others to follow her lead and work towards creating a more just and humane criminal justice system,” said Jose Calderon, NHLA Board member and President of the Hispanic Federation.
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ABOUT THE NATIONAL HISPANIC LEADERSHIP AGENDA
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is composed of 40 of the leading national and regional Latino civil rights and public policy organizations and other elected officials, and prominent Latinos Americans. NHLA coalition members represent the diversity of the Latino community – Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino Americans. NHLA’s mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Latino community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence in our country’s affairs. NHLA brings together Latino leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit: www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.
NHLA MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS
Alianza Americas | American GI Forum | ASPIRA Association, Inc. | Avance | Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network | Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute | Farmworker Justice | Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities | Hispanic Federation | Hispanic National Bar Association | Inter-University Program for Latino Research | Labor Council for Latin American Advancement | Latino Justice PRLDEF | League of United Latin American Citizens | MANA, A National Latina Organization | Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund | NALEO Educational Fund | National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives | National Association of Hispanic Publications | National Association of Latino Independent Producers | National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. | National Council of La Raza | National Hispana Leadership Institute | National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators | National Hispanic Council on Aging | National Hispanic Environmental Council | National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts | National Hispanic Media Coalition | National Hispanic Medical Association | National Institute for Latino Policy | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health | National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc. | Presente.org | SER – Jobs for Progress National, Inc. | Southwest Voter Registration Education Project | United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | United States Hispanic Leadership Institute | United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce | U.S.-Mexico Foundation| Voto Latino