Mike Stark, member of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, spoke to students at Blair after school Thursday, Feb 21.
The discussion was hosted by the Social Action Club in room 215. About 30 students came.
Stark said that eight of thirteen criminals on death row are blacks convicted for murdering whites. He credited activists for a halt on Maryland executions in 1998.
The discussion, although open to people of all opinions, was admittedly biased against the death penalty. The Social Action Club's leaflet read, "The Death Penalty is racist; it punishes the poor; it does not deter crime; it kills innocent people; it is cruel and unusual punishment." Some students offered alternative views to Stark's.
When a student asked Stark about the case of Timothy McVeigh, Stark expressed his opposition to the death penalty even in that extreme case because he said nothing positive came out of it. "It's not going to deter psycho white supremacists," he said. Stark also noted just a few weeks after McVeigh's death, the federal government executed Raul Garza, a poor Hispanic man.
The Campaign to End the Death Penalty held a death penalty protest on Saturday, Feb 23. For more information, email Mike Stark at email@example.com.
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