150+ Business Leaders Speak Out Against the Death Penalty, Joining Branson Campaign as Abolition Gains Momentum

New Business Signatories Announced by Campaign Ahead of World Day Against the Death Penalty

SOURCE: Responsible Business Initiative for Justice

DESCRIPTION:

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 7, 2021 /3BL Media/ - More than 150 business leaders have declared their support for a global campaign to end capital punishment, ahead of World Day Against the Death Penalty (October 10).

The Business Leaders Against the Death Penalty campaign (declaration and list of signatories below) was launched by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBIJ) earlier this year. It decries capital punishment as cruel, ineffective, discriminatory and unacceptably error-prone - and urges governments everywhere to end the practice. Branson writes:

"The growing support for this campaign shows that business leaders increasingly recognize they must be a force for the greater good of society. By speaking out against the death penalty, they take a stand against one of the most egregious injustices of our time. The voice of business will be critical to end the death penalty once and for all.”

The death penalty is at a tipping point. President Biden’s moratorium on federal executions, as well as successful abolition efforts in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Kazakhstan, and the U.S. state of Virginia, underscore a global trend towards abolition. Support for ending the death penalty has never been higher - and reformers are poised to deliver lasting change. At this critical moment, the support of employers and investors can help drive abolition campaigns over the line.

Never before have leaders from the business community united against capital punishment, and the groundswell of support for the campaign marks an ongoing and fundamental shift in the way many view their roles – and responsibilities – when it comes to social and criminal justice issues. Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever, writes:

"As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s more critical than ever that business leaders demonstrate a strong moral compass and show courage in the fight against racism, cruelty and oppression. By speaking out against the death penalty, we wholeheartedly embrace that responsibility.”

Since its launch at South by Southwest Festival, the campaign has attracted a diverse group of supporters from a wide range of sectors, countries, and cultures. They share a fundamental commitment to racial equality, public safety, fiscal responsibility, and human rights - all critical issues in the capital punishment debate. As Galaxy Digital founder Mike Novogratz points out:

“Governments should prioritize saving lives, not ending them, and it is mission critical that we embrace our responsibility to end ineffective policies like the death penalty now.”

Building on this momentum, the group will deploy business voices at critical tipping points in specific campaigns – bringing powerful new allies to call out executions, support reforms, and inspire action - in close collaboration with movement leaders on the ground. RBIJ CEO Celia Ouellette explained:

“Lawmakers and decision makers should be paying attention - business leaders are wading into the fray and demanding an end to capital punishment. There's a new incentive for ending the death penalty: abolition is good for business.”

Note to editors

For further information, please contact Ben Cumming (Communications Director, Responsible Business Initiative for Justice):
ben@responsiblebusinessinitiative.org
+44 7891551514 / +1 213 370 0222
#BizVsDP
@RBI_Justice
Website: BusinessAgainstDeathPenalty.org

Business Leaders Against the Death Penalty Declaration

We stand united in our belief in a fairer and more equitable world, the rule of law, and universal human rights. As an irreversible and extreme form of punishment, the death penalty is inhumane, and it is irreconcilable with human dignity. Its worldwide abolition is a moral imperative that all of humanity should support.

We can no longer stay silent on issues of inequality, and no issue is more intricately tied to the racial and socio-economic biases that permeate justice systems than the death penalty. In many countries, ethnic minorities and the poor are still more likely to be prosecuted, sentenced to death, and ultimately executed. The abolition of capital punishment is a critical step in the movement toward racial and social equality.

We are committed to making our communities safer. The death penalty does not make communities safer and it does not address the root causes of crime. Nor does it serve as a deterrent. Statistics show that US states with the death penalty have higher murder rates than those without. This is consistent with international findings showing that countries that have abolished capital punishment experienced a decline in murder rates over time. We can no longer afford to jeopardize the safety of our communities by perpetuating a culture of violence and revenge.

We recognize the danger of executing innocent people. In the US for every eight people executed, one innocent person has been exonerated. By all accounts, the true number of innocent people who continue to languish on death row - or who have been executed - is much higher. Any system with an error rate this high Is broken beyond repair.

We believe, now more than ever, that we must be responsible with public finances. The death penalty is a wasteful and ineffective misallocation of public resources. To maintain the broken system of capital punishment, some governments divert millions of dollars every year from critical public health and safety initiatives, from infrastructure development, and from education - missing crucial opportunities to build social stability and strengthen communities.

But there is progress. More than 170 UN Member States have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Half of all US states have abolished the death penalty or stopped executions. The tide is turning, and now it is the responsibility of business leaders to speak up and stand together on the right side of history. It is time to end this cruelty once and for all.

Where the death penalty still exists, we urge government leaders to legally commute death sentences, to impose moratoria on executions and to support legislative or ballot initiatives to end capital punishment for good.

We commit to using our voices and our reach as business leaders to support ending the death penalty everywhere, beginning with signing this declaration.

List of Signatories (as of 6pm ET, 10.06.2021)

RICHARD BRANSON
Founder, Virgin Group

ADEEL SAEED
CEO, Adeel Saeed

ALAN JOPE
CEO, Unilever

ALESSANDRO BOGLIOLO
Former CEO, Tiffany & Co.

ALEX LOVE
Founder and CEO, Alex Love Consulting, LLC

ALI NIAZ,
Co-Founder, BPureSounds

ALICE DYSON
COO, ONE MEDIA IP LTD

ALLAN W MOSKOWITZ
CEO, Transformative Wealth Management, LLC

ALPA PATEL
Founder and CEO, 9th House

AMANDA PACQUETTE
Director, Business2Technology

AMIT AMIN
Partner, Amit & Naroop

ANDERS HOLCH POVLSEN
CEO, BESTSELLER

ANDRÉ HOFFMAN

ANDREW N. LIVERIS
Former Chairman and CEO, Dow Chemical | Founder, Liveris Academy for Leadership and Innovation

ANNE WOJCICKI
Co-Founder and CEO, 23andMe, Inc.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON
Founder and CEO, Thrive Global | Co-founder, The Huffington Post

ATITI SOSIMI
CEO, Eyato London

BEN COHEN
Co-founder, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

BERT JACOBS
CEO, LIFE IS GOOD

BRAD S. KARP
Chairman, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

BRITTANY DAMICO
Senior Business Development Manager, Change Finance

CASEY J. MULLIGAN
Owner, Mulligan & Mulligan PLLC

CATHERINE KIMMEL
Co-CEO, The Artemis Agency

CHRIS DAW QC
Lawyer, Broadcaster and Author of Justice on Trial

CHRISTINA BROOKS
Founder and CEO, Ruebik

CHRISTOPHER COX
Associate Director, Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment

CHRIS DUTTON
Founder, The CEO Magazine

DAN MEYER
President and CEO, Nehemiah Manufacturing

DANIEL DART
CEO, Dart Capital & Co.

DAVID BRONNER
CEO, Dr.Bronner’s

DAVID W. CRANE
CEO, Climate Real Impact Solutions | Former CEO and President, NRG

DAVID PACQUETTE
David Pacquette, CEO, Business2Technology

DAVE PHILLIPS

DORRIT LOWSEN
President and COO, Change Finance

Dr. MO IBRAHIM
Founder, Mobile Systems International | Founder, Celtel | Founding Chairman, Satya Capital Limited | Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

DR. PHILIP TEE
Founder and CEO, Moogsoft Inc

ED FLETCHER
Co-Managing Director, Shape History

ELISSA SHUCK
President and CEO, ES-STRATEGIC, LLC

ELIZABETH CHAMBERS
Operating Partner, Searchlight Capital

ELLIE KANNER
CEO, Forever Sunny Productions | Just To Be Clear Productions | The Game Plan Game LLC

EVE WILDRICK
Founder and President, Executive Interiors Inc.

FELIX PFREUNDTNER
Owner, Xilev UG

FLOYD ALBEE
CEO, Prevalent Projects

FRANCOIS-HENRI PINAULT

GARETH PARKER
CEO, Raphael Rowe Foundation

GEORGE TURNER.
Co-Founder and CEO, Carneys Community

GINA LYNELL SMITH
Founder, BizDesign.digital

GORI YAHAYA
Founder and CEO, UpSkill Digital

GUILHERME LEAL
Co-founder and Co-chair Natura & Co | Co-founder Instituto Ethos

HELENE GAYLE, MD, MPH
President and CEO, The Chicago Community Trust | Former President & CEO CARE USA

HUBERT JOLY
Former Chairman and CEO, Best Buy | Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School

HUGH LENON
Private Equity and Prison Charity Chairman

IQRA SHAIKH
Founder and CEO, Tutoring in Teams

ISABELLE KOCHER

JACK D'AURORA
Partner, The Behal Law Group LLC

JAMES FELLOWES
Founder, The Bridge of Hope (Inclusive Talent Portal)

JARED SMITH
Co-founder, Qualtrics

JASON FLOM
CEO, Lava Media

JATIN MAHINDRA
Founder, Jatin Mahindra

JAUME MIQUEL NAUDI
Chairman and CEO, Tendam Global Fashion Retail

JAVIER GARCIA SAZ
CEO and Founder, AnunciaWebs

JEAN OELWANG
President and Founding CEO Virgin Unite | Former Co-CEO Virgin Mobile Australia

JEFFREY SCALES
Managing Principal, JSA Sustainable Wealth Management

JERRY GREENFIELD
Co-founder, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

JOANNA REES
Managing Partner, West Ventures

JOHN C. HARRINGTON
President and CEO, Harrington Investments, Inc.

JOHN KAY
CEO, Realize Strategies

JOHN O’FARRELL

JOHN REPLOGLE
Founding Partner, One Better Ventures | Former CEO, Seventh Generation Inc

JOHN ROST
Founder and CEO, Ace Oasis Ltd

JOHN RUSH
Founder and CEO, CleanTurn | 180 Demo | Third Way Café

JOHNNY WEBB
CEO, HiddenLight Productions

JON WRIGHT
Co-Founder, Innocent Drinks

JONATHAN OUELLETTE
Co-Founder and Creative Director, KILL 2 BIRDS

JOE DELOSS
Founder, Hot Chicken Takeover

JOSH ZINNER
CEO, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

JULIA ALBEE
CFO, Prevalent Projects

JULIO SALINAS LOMBARD
Founder and CEO, Salinas Consultores

KATIE DAVIES
US Editor, The Independent

KETZ HARIA
Ketz Haria, Director, Dey, King, Haria

KRISTINA TOUZENIS
Managing Partner, BST Impact

KRIZ TAN
Co-Owner and Director, Alphavertex Communications Pte Ltd

KYLER CARTER
Professor of Development Disabilities

L. WILLIAMSON
COO, CAA Family Office

LAUREN McCANN
Founder and CEO, Calliope Advisors

LOGAN MARTIN
President, Skyline Strategies, LLC

LUCKY XAZI
Founder, Smart LUX Marketing

MAC BARTINE
CEO, SmartRIA

MAMIE KANFER STEWART
Founder, Meeteor

MARC BENIOFF
Chairman and CEO, Salesforce

MARCUS BULLOCK
CEO, Flikshop

MARISA TENDERO
Non-Executive Chairwoman , NOABRANDS

MARK HAMADE
Co-Founder, CanEth

MARTHA LANE FOX
Chair, WeTransfer | Director, Twitter | Director, Chanel | Chancellor, Open University

MARY-CLAIRE MULLIGAN
Partner and Director, Trial Litigation

MATTHEW STEPKA
Managing Partner, Machina Ventures

MATS GRANRYD

MELISSA FRIESENBOURG
Owner, Balanced Spirit Pilates

MERCK MERCURIADIS
Founder and CEO, Hipgnosis Songs Fund

MICHAEL CONN
Founder, Bigger Than Us

MICHAEL KRAMER
Managing Partner, Natural Investments

MICHELLE CIROCCO
Chief Impact Officer and Executive Director, Televerde | Televerde Foundation

MIKE NOVOGRATZ
Founder and CEO, Galaxy Digital

MILES DALLY
CEO, RCL FOODS

MO CHOUMIL
CEO, Safi Virtual

MORDECHAI GABAI
Head of Studio, Schizotypy Game Development Ltd

NICK McKEOWN

NICOLAS DEBRAY
President, Americas, The Body Shop

NICOLAS GIROTTO

NICOLAS PATRICK
Global Head of Responsible Business, DLA Piper

OSCAR WESTRA VAN HOLTHE
Founder, Teamcoach Zuidas

PAUL GRAHAM
Founder, Y Combinator

PAUL J. FRIBOURG

PAUL POLMAN
Co-founder and Chair, IMAGINE | Former CEO, Unilever

PEDRO HERNANDES
Founder, HBFS

PEDRO PARENTE
Chairman and Former CEO, BRF | Founding Partner, EB Capital | Former CEO, Petrobras

PIERRE DUBUC
Co-Founder and CEO, OpenClassrooms

RAPHAEL ROWE
Founder, Raphael Rowe Foundation

RICCARDO BELLINI
President and CEO, Chloe

RIZVAN RAJA
Founder and CEO, Rizuma Ltd

ROBERT F. SMITH
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Vista Equity Partners

RON CONWAY
Founder, SV Angel

RYAN BALL
Ryan Ball, Director, Ryan Ball Photography

SALLY JEWELL,
Former CEO, REI

SANDRO SALSANO
Chairman, Salsano Family Office | President, Salsano Group

SANJAY AGGARWAL
Founder and CEO, IPS

SATISH AGGARWAL
Founder, S&J Leisure Group

SARA PRICE
Founder, Actually

SARAH ADOLPHSON
Co-CEO, The Artemis Agency

SARAH BEST
CEO, Sarah Best Strategy

SARAI JACOB-WHELAN

SCOTT BUDNICK
CEO, One Community | Founder, The Anti-Recidivism Coalition

SHENALY AMIN
Director, Iconik Ltd

SHERYL SANDBERG
COO, Facebook | Founder, LeanIn.org

SITAL PUNJA
Founder, Threads-London

SONIA KOWAL
President, Zevin Asset Management

STEFANIE REINHOLD
Founder, HorseHaus LLC

STEPHANIE MELODIA
CEO, Bloom Consulting Ltd

STEPHEN LUCKMAN
Partner, Sheridans

STEVE BENNETT
Co-Founder, Health Results

STRIVE MASIYIWA
Founder and Executive Chairman, Econet Group

SUSAN OZAWA PEREZ
Senior Portfolio Manager, Impact Investors

SUSAN WHITMORE
Founder and CEO, Grief Haven

SVEIN TORE HOLSETHER
President and CEO, Yara International

SYLVIA COLEMAN
Co-Founder and Principal, BPureSounds

TERESA HENNING
Director, Moneymasternow

TOM LYTTON-DICKIE
Founder and CEO, Meaningful Business

TONY FERNANDES
Group Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Group | Chairman and Founder, Tune Group

VANESSA BAKEWELL
Global Client Partner, Facebook

WERNER BAUMANN
CEO, Bayer

WOUTER MURRAT
Founder, Owner & CEO, MEPILAN VOF

YINKA SONUBI
CEO, TJR&M

Tweet me: 150+ Business Leaders Speak Out Against the Death Penalty, Joining Branson Campaign as Abolition Gains Momentum https://bit.ly/2ZTRb3m #BizVsDP @RBI_Justice

KEYWORDS: Responsible Business Initiative for Justice, richard branson

Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson RBIJ logo Responsible Business Initiative for Justice founder and CEO Celia Ouellette

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