Alonzo Tucker:

True Justice

On May 28, 2022, Taylor Stewart brought Alonzo Tucker’s story to TEDx Portland and invited the audience to join this campaign to end the death penalty in Oregon with the question, “How do you reconcile a lynching?”

Only Oregon voters have the power to ultimately end the death penalty in Oregon. Thus, it is on each of us who believe in the ideals of truth, justice, and reconciliation to make sure our voice is heard. ORP is committed to getting an initiative before Oregon voters to abolish the death penalty in Oregon in the upcoming election years.

Alonzo Tucker Bottle

Lynching never ended, it simply evolved.

Lynching simply moved indoors where all-white juries and expedited trials carried out the same verdict as the lynch mob. Lynching and the death penalty are inextricably linked because at the same time lynchings in the United States started to go down, state sanctioned executions started to go up.

Alonzo Tucker’s story needs one last chapter–an end to lynching in Oregon. By using his story and this idea of historical repair to end the death penalty in Oregon, we can bring Alonzo Tucker’s memory a semblance of redemptive justice–the kind of justice that redeems our pain, our wrongdoing, and our stories.

By the Numbers

Today African Americans make up 13% of the population but 41% of those who are on death row.

The states in the South plus Oklahoma and Missouri had the highest number of lynchings and represent over 85% of all executions in the United States since 1976.

Of the over 190 innocent individuals who have been exonerated from death row, over half have been African American.

In the Courtroom

In 2014, the University of Washington looked at jurors in Washington state and found that jurors were three times more likely to recommend a death sentence for a Black defendant than for a white defendant accused of similar crimes.

Nearly every study that has looked at the issue of race of victim in capital punishment cases has found that you are more likely to get the death sentence if the victim is white than if the victim is Black.


Over Our History

During the 1930’s two-thirds of all executions in the United States were of African Americans.

Between 1910-1950, while only making up 22% of the South’s population, African Americans accounted for 75% of all of those who were executed in this region.

Between 1930-1972, 455 individuals in the United States were executed for the charge of rape, 89% were African American.

We have been too busy asking ourselves the question, “Does this person deserve to die for their crimes?” that we haven’t first asked ourselves the question, “Do we deserve to kill?”

Discover More

Read our articles to learn about Alonzo Tucker.

The Story

A crowd of 200 gathered in Coos Bay for a soil-collection ceremony near the spot where 28-year-old Alonzo Tucker was killed. The soil was collected from three locations and each bit of soil told part of Alonzo Tucker’s story.

A New Chapter

On June 19, 2021, a community gathered to pay witness to the lynching of Alonzo Tucker at the unveiling of his historical marker. The historical marker was more than just a retelling of history. It was also the making of history.