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More business leaders back campaign to end death penalty

Over 130 business leaders from around the world declared their support for a global campaign to end capital punishment on Thursday.

Business Leaders Against the Death Penalty, a campaign coordinated by the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice and led by Virgin founder Richard Branson, was launched at the South by Southwest Festival in March.

Since the campaign’s launch, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and former Unilever CEO Paul Polman have signed the Business Leaders Declaration Against the Death Penalty, which calls capital punishment “irreversible and extreme” and “irreconcilable with human dignity.”

“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,” Polman said.

The group has noted that over 170 United Nations member states have abolished the death penalty, as well as nearly half of U.S. states.

Sandberg joined Branson, who said the death penalty is “broken beyond repair” and “fails to deliver justice.”

“I oppose the death penalty because it is cruel and disproportionately impacts people and communities of color. We can build a more just future by ending the death penalty and reforming our broken criminal justice system,” Sandberg said.

President Biden voiced opposition to the death penalty on the campaign trail, and Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a moratorium on federal executions July 1 while the Justice Department reviews its policies and procedures.

Tags death penalty Joe Biden Merrick Garland

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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