Local NAACP Plans to Campaign Against Capital Punishment

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is planning a campaign against capital punishment.

The NAACP Columbia branch plans to work with other local organizations to launch a statewide campaign, which the chapter calls its "largest-ever effort."

NAACP Missouri chapter President, Mary Ratliff, said African-Americans are disproportionately represented in the prison system, primarily on death row.

Ratliff said the organization is making the campaign a priority.

"This is one that we plan to be out front on because the people who are being executed are really predominated African-American," said Ratliff.

She also said African-Americans are incarcerated and put on death row because they don't have the resources to get their case fairly heard.

"We know that evidence has been so tainted with so many innocent people because of a lack of adequate counsel, " said Ratliff.

Missouri inmate John Winfield was executed Wednesday morning in Bonne Terre, Missouri. He was an African-American. There have been twenty-two inmates executed in the U.S. this year, four of whom were African-American.

The NAACP plans to hold local demonstrations throughout the state and addresses government officials about the topic.