In a recent column, Marc H. Morial, the current President of the National Urban League and former President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, praised recent efforts to halt executions while questions about innocence and fairness are addressed by legislators. Morial noted:

There are growing calls for moratoria on executions, a growing reluctance among juries to levy the death penalty, efforts to insure that defendants in capital cases, who are most often poor, are represented by good attorneys, and even legislative attempts at the state and federal levels to fix the flaws in various parts of the steps of death-penalty cases.
These efforts are worthwhile—in our view, both for their practicality and for their underscoring the moral arguments against the death penalty: It is a practice that cannot be fixed by the application of “practical” measures. It is inherently cruel and inhuman punishment, in no small measure because it is layered through and through with America’s legacy of class and racial oppression.

(, February 25, 2004)(emphasis added) See New Voices.