Richard Branson Forms CEO Campaign Against the Death Penalty
The heads of 19 major companies are calling on world governments to end executions globally, with a focus on the US.
Nineteen company founders and CEOs led by Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson have declared their opposition to the death penalty, urging other business leaders to join their campaign to abolish the practice internationally.
The group released a letter on Thursday outlining their stance and calling for the support of their peers.
“The death penalty is broken beyond repair and plainly fails to deliver justice by every reasonable measure,” Branson said. “It is marred by cruelty, waste, ineffectiveness, discrimination and an unacceptable risk of error. By speaking out at this crucial moment, business leaders have an opportunity to help end this inhumane and flawed practice.”
Branson’s declaration to end the death penalty has already been signed by nineteen other prominent business leaders.
Signatories thus far include Ben and Jerry’s co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Huffington Post co-founder Ariana Huffington, Mobile Systems International founder Mo Ibrahim, Vista Equity Partners founder Robert Smith, 23andMe CEO Anna Wojcicki and Tiffany & Co CEO Alessandro Bogliolo.
The campaign will spend the next seven months canvassing for further support from global business leaders, with an updated list of the pledge’s signatories to be unveiled on World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October.
According to the United Nations, 170 of its 193 member countries have already abolished or declared a moratorium on the practice of state-sponsored executions.
The US is one of the few member nations that has not abolished the death penalty, though support is at an all-time low. 55% of Americans still support the practice for convicted murderers, according to a 2020 Gallup poll, while 43% of independents said it should be abolished.