In a recent interview with The Washington Post, NAACP president Bruce C. Gordon (pictured) spoke about capital punishment and called for a halt to executions in every state until questions of accuracy and fairness can be addressed. Gordon, who challenged California Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger for refusing to commute the death sentence of Stanley Tookie Williams, noted that the death penalty will be a key issue for the NAACP:

African Americans represent 10 percent of the population and 42 percent of the population on death row. That to me illustrates the inequity of the system and the appropriateness of a need for a moratorium. I do not believe in the death penalty. But this position around the death penalty is not new to the NAACP. Until we can be convinced that there is no bias, until we can be convinced that there is a just and fair application of the death penalty, there needs to be a moratorium.

We are going to make our position and presence known in every state, every time a prisoner is set to be executed. We will call governors, we will lobby legislatures. I intend to mobilize the NAACP around this — we feel strongly about it, and we’re going to be stronger about keeping it front and center.

(The Washington Post, January 16, 2006). See New Voices.