The BBA and the Death Penalty

In September 2013, BBA President Paul T. Dacier appointed retired Superior Court Judge Margaret Hinkle and Foley Hoag partner Martin F. Murphy to co-chair a working group charged with reviewing and updating the BBA’s opposition to the death penalty, a public policy position that dates back 40 years.

The work group produced a report, The BBA and the Death Penalty, which concludes that “capital punishment is simply too fraught with peril – too likely to lead to the execution of the innocent, too likely to result in discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities, and too expensive and time consuming – to deserve support.”

Following a presentation by Judge Hinkle and Murphy on December 17, the BBA Council voted unanimously to renew its historic opposition to capital punishment at the state level, and also to oppose the death penalty at the federal level.