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By Sandra Joy

Coalition construction within the Anti-Death Penalty stream makes use of the suggestions of the political strategy version of social events to research the criteria that form the racial face of the anti-death penalty move. Contests are stumbled on to emerge over mobilizing and framing concepts as activists react to the political chance constitution in a fashion that privileges ethical arguments above the racial ones that might let them construct a extra racially diversified constituency.

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Extra resources for Coalition Building in the Anti-Death Penalty Movement: Privileged Morality, Race Realities

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People say it is for pragmatic reasons . . but that’s not the reason. We have a clear problem with race discrimination in this country. That in and of itself should be troubling. It should give us more impetus to do more and push forward on the issue of race discrimination. . I think that the fact that you have such a white, middle-class movement that white middle-class activists can say, “Look, we have looked at public opinion polls and race just doesn’t resonate. ” So strategic motives and racist motives are disturbingly compatible.

This perspective is represented well by the comments of a white woman in her thirties. Maggie explains, “The fact is that when all of us are working to pull people in, we start with the people we know and they go to the people they know and they go to the people they know. ” As he shared his views about the difficulties that the movement has had broadening its membership to reflect more diversity along the lines of race and ethnicity, Chano similarly notes the effect of living in a segregated society upon the comfort level of activists to reach out to people outside of their immediate group.

The racial disparities found with capital sentencing may not capture the attention of the public as quickly as do the horrifying stories of the wrongfully convicted, yet this is exactly why one white attorney feels that the movement needs to expend more effort advancing race-based arguments against the death penalty. As a capital defense attorney, Franklin fights for the lives of more guilty than innocent defendants. ” Despite the challenges posed by advancing an argument based on race, Franklin submits it is important to continue to do so despite “the temptation to take the short term benefit at the risk of the long term accomplishment” brought by moratorium efforts based on the issue of innocence.

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