Sunday, November 09, 2003

Give a Little to EJI

Here's why organizations like the Equal Justice Initiative are a vital part of our flawed judicial system:

Racial discrimination remains a dominant feature of criminal justice in the United States and Alabama. The state of Alabama disenfranchises more of its citizens as a result of criminal convictions than any other state in the country.

Although black people in Alabama constitute 26% of the total population, none of the 19 appellate court judges and none of the 42 elected District Attorneys in Alabama are black. Nearly 63% of the Alabama prison population is black.

Although only 6% of all murders in Alabama involve black defendants and white victims, over 60% of black death row prisoners have been sentenced for killing someone white.

Each year in Alabama, nearly 65% of all murders involve black victims. However, 80% of the prisoners currently awaiting execution in the state were convicted of crimes in which the victims were white.

EJI litigates on behalf of criminal defendants whose convictions have been unlawfully obtained on the basis of racial discrimination. In the last ten years, 23 capital cases in Alabama have been reversed after it was proven that prosecutors illegally excluded black people from jury service. EJI won most of the cases.

EJI is challenging the wide-spread exclusion of racial minorities in the administration of criminal justice.

Small donations welcome. About 50,000 visitors reach this site every day. I'm not sure how many individual pairs of eyeballs that really translates into, but if only a tenth of you pony up $20 it adds up to a lot.

You can add to a bundled donation here, or if you don't like Paypal or want to deduct the donation from your taxes you should send a donation directly to:

Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama
122 Commerce Street
Montgomery, AL 36104

If you send directly, please let me know so I can keep a tally. Thanks to all of you who have donated so far - we're up to $1241!