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Summary

Abstract:
Since 1976 the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty has been working to educate the public about the failings and inconsistencies of capital punishment in the United States. Founded after the Gregg v. Georgia Supreme Court decision in 1976, the NCADP has emerged as one of the more influential national anti-death penalty organizations. The collection contains the group's internal case files, administrative material, publications, petitions, photographic materials, video tapes, and audio cassettes.
Extent:
27.55 cubic ft.
Language:
English .
Preferred citation:

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Records, 1972-2006, Undated. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York.

Background

Scope and Content:

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Records documents the administration, avocation, and lobbying activities of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty from 1976 to 2001.

The largest portion of the collection contains the NCADP's internal case files. These are divided into Adult, Juvenile, and Innocence sub series comprised of folders which represent an individual capital case. Each file contains trial proceedings, news clippings, artwork, death warrants, and correspondence between the NCADP and death row inmates, government officials, and various affiliate organizations.

The NCADP Records also contain the group's publications, materials gathered from conferences, photographs, audio and video material, and signed petitions from the Stop Killing Kids campaign against the death penalty for juveniles.

The Subject Files series contains research material related to the various aspects of the death penalty but with a focus on education. Folders include material on death penalty law in the United States and abroad. Folders in this series contain articles, correspondence, news clippings, photographs, press releases, statements, and reports. Topics covered include advocacy, discrimination, families, juveniles, medical issues, and other aspects of death penalty law. This series also includes material from several affiliate organizations.

Biographical / Historical:

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) is the largest national organization exclusively devoted to abolishing the death penalty. The NCADP provides information, advocates for public policy, and mobilizes and supports individuals and institutions which reject the use of capital punishment. Through these methods the NCADP hopes to eliminate the death penalty in the United States and supports efforts to abolish the death penalty worldwide.

The NCADP was founded in 1976 following the Gregg v. Georgia Supreme Court decision, which reinstated the death penalty in the United States. Two American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) staff members, Deborah Leavy and Henry Schwarzchild, gathered a group of anti-capital punishment advocates one week after the Gregg decision. The organization that resulted brought together 26 affiliate organizations to coordinate their actions at the national level. The NCADP began its life housed within the ACLU offices in New York. Shortly after 1982 the group relocated to Philadelphia and, in 1987, moved to its current location in Washington D.C.

As a Washington based advocacy group, the NCADP lobbies against capital punishment through a variety of methods that include organizing protests and increasing public awareness. The NCADP uses a number of non-violent methods to draw attention to, and advance, their campaign at local, state and national levels.

Since its inception, the NCADP has been working to educate and inform the public about the failings and inconsistencies of the death penalty. The NCADP's campaign against capital punishment hinges on four core areas of advocacy: legislative, media, grassroots, and human rights. These efforts are accomplished through an annual conference, distribution of national publications such as LifeLines, the newsletter of the NCADP, and the National Execution Alert Network, a system which provides updates on pending executions. Founded in 1984, the Alert Network is a tracking and warning project keyed to executions – directing when and what actions should be taken in protest. Since 1981, the NCADP has hosted an annual conference which brings abolitionists from across the country together to analyze the past years successes and shortcomings and to strategize the goals and objectives for the coming year. Additionally, the NCADP compiles statistics and publishes findings on a variety of subjects concerning the death penalty including The Abolitionist Directory, a national listing of every organization and individual working against capital punishment and The Death Penalty Exchange, a handbook for organizers.

The NCADP has achieved recent victories in its struggle to end capital punishment. Through the efforts of its Stop Killing Kids Campaign, an initiative that sought to bring an end to the death penalty for offenders whose crimes were committed while they were under the age of 18, NCADP was successful in ending the death penalty as punishment for juveniles in several states. In 2006 NCADP successfully fought death penalty reinstatement efforts in Wisconsin, and the group has played a significant role in winning clemency for several death row inmates.

Acquisition information:
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty transferred all items in this collection to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives in 2007 and 2018.
Processing information:

Processed in 2014 by Gregory Wiedeman.

Arrangement:

The collection is organized into the following series:

  1. Series 1 - Case Files, 1988-2006, Undated
  2. Subseries 1.1: Adults, 1988-2006, Undated
  3. Subseries 1.2: Juveniles, 1994-2002, Undated
  4. Subseries 1.3: Innocence, 1998-2000, Undated
  5. Series 2 - Publications, 1982-2004, Undated
  6. Series 3 - Subject Files, 1972-2005, Undated
  7. Series 4 - Conferences, 1981-2005, Undated
  8. Series 5 - Petitions, 1999
  9. Series 6 - Photographs, 1976-2001, Undated
  10. Series 7 - Audio, 1981-2005, Undated
  11. Series 8 - Video, 1985-2005

This collection is grouped in to eight file series, the largest of which is the Case File which consists of the Adults, Juveniles, and Innocence subseries.

Physical location:
The materials are located onsite in the department.

Contents


Access

Using These Materials

ACCESS:
The archives are open to the public and anyone is welcome to visit and view the collections.
RESTRICTIONS:

Access to this collection is unrestricted.

TERMS OF ACCESS:

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to the University Libraries. Rights to the records are held by the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) according to applicable copyright laws. Per the donor agreement, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives may grant permission to researchers for the scholarly, non-commerical publication of quotations from the records. Requests for usage for commerical publication will be referred to the NCADP for negotiation and approval.

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

PREFERRED CITATION:

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Records, 1972-2006, Undated. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York.

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