For the first time in nearly forty years the United States government is preparing to carry out the death penalty. Juan Raul Garza - who was granted a reprieve by President Clinton this summer -- is scheduled for execution on December 12th. His appeals have been exhausted and his clemency petition is already before the President.
Citizens for a Moratorium on Federal Executions is a diverse group of prominent Americans that has called upon President Clinton to declare a moratorium on federal executions pending a thorough review and full debate of the fairness of the federal capital punishment process. CMFE members include former White House and Justice Department officials, as well as civil rights, civic and religious leaders and artists, a number of whom have worked closely with the President. CMFE brings together both opponents of the death penalty and those who support its use in specific
instances provided it is administered in a fair manner.
In its letter to President Clinton, the CMFE cites a recent Department of Justice survey that documents significant racial, ethnic and geographic disparities in the charging of federal capital cases. The CMFE has come together to urge that President Clinton take the only action that is consistent with the goals of justice and equality. The group's position is that no federal death sentence can be carried out until the studies of the federal capital punishment system and the "honest dialogue" that must follow from them have been completed.