LATINO LEADERS APPLAUD DECISION BY STATE ATTORNEY AYALA TO NO LONGER PURSUE THE DEATH PENALTY IN FUTURE CASES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 17, 2017

Contact: Christiaan Perez, Manager of Advocacy and Digital Strategy, 212-739-7581, cperez@latinojustice.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 40 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations which includes LatinoJustice and Hispanic Federation, 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.

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.

“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.

“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.

“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, Co-Chair of the Immigration Committee of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and President of the Hispanic Federation.

NHLA MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS

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.

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