Late last month, the Kansas Federation of College Republicans (KFCR) released an official statement calling for the death penalty’s end. The state chairman, Dalton Glasscock, stated, “We believe in promoting a culture of life from conception to natural death. The effort is to make a more consistent policy — that we do stand for all life.” KFCR joins the Kansas Republican Liberty Caucus, who passed a resolution supporting repeal in 2014, and around the same time, the Kansas Republican Party removed the pro-death penalty plank from its platform.
While efforts for repeal in Kansas are making national headlines, the debate over Nebraska’s capital punishment system is not settled yet. After a petition drive, primarily funded by Governor Ricketts and his father, the issue will be placed on the ballot. After the legislature resoundingly repealed the death penalty, Nebraska voters will also have the opportunity to voice their opposition to a broken, wasteful, and dangerous government program. The referendum will be included on Nebraska’s 2016 ballot.
Conservatives Concerned in the media
CCATDP had a strong media presence again this month as we continue to shatter the myth that all conservatives support the death penalty.
• I was a guest on the David Packman Show, Dr. John Chowning’s Dialogue on Public Policy, Uncommon Ground with Mike and Troy, and NPR-Jacksonville to discuss the many problems plaguing capital punishment.
• Rare reported on the pending execution of Richard Glossip, who may be innocent. I was interviewed for that article, and I also wrote an op-ed explaining why Glossip deserves a 60-day stay of execution in order to present evidence supporting his claims of innocence.
• The Kansas Federation of College Republicans’ official opposition to the death penalty garnered national attention, and we weighed in on their resolution in articles featured in the Huffington Post and Liberty Edifier.
• The Huffington Post, The Week, Daily Caller, Libertarian Republic, and National Catholic Reporter included CCATDP in their articles on Governor Ricketts’ attempts to reinstate Nebraska’s broken death penalty.
• Additionally, we were highlighted in the Blot, Sputnik, Folio, and I was a guest on the Mundane Revolution’s podcast, Deconstructing the Death Penalty.
Burt and Anita Folsom’s book, Death On Hold, hit bookshelves last month. In it, they tell the story of a young man, Mitch Rutledge, who committed a terrible crime as a youth and was sentenced to death. His life could have ended then, but on death row, he found salvation, taught himself to read, and became a model inmate, counseling fellow prisoners and troubled youths. Death on Hold shows that no one is beyond redemption, even those on death row. It is a great book, which I highly recommend, and you can read what I recently wrote about Death on Hold here.
Florida speaking tour
I returned to Florida to speak to various conservative and libertarian groups to discuss why Florida has wrongly sentenced more people to death than any other state. On Tuesday, September 15, I presented to the St. John’s County Young Republicans whose attendees were shocked to learn of the death penalty’s many shortcomings.
On Wednesday, September 16, I spoke at the Orange County Campaign for Liberty. Many of the members were emphatic in their opposition to what they believe is an enormous power vested in an undeserving government. One attendee approached me after the presentation and said, “I walked into this event an ardent supporter of the death penalty, but you’ve given me so much to chew on that I don’t know if I can continue to support capital punishment.”
My last speaking engagement was with the Jacksonville Liberty on the Rocks chapter on September 21, where the room quickly filled with conservatives and libertarians wanting to know how to become involved and repeal the death penalty.
At 7 pm on October 6, I will speak to the Mercer University College Republicans about the Georgia death penalty system’s dysfunction.
I will be at the University of Alabama on October 12 where I will describe why conservatives are increasingly opposing the death penalty. The event will be at 7 pm in the Bidgood building, room 123.
On October 14, I will travel to Kentucky where I will present the conservative case against capital punishment at 7 pm at Covington Catholic High School.
If you’re in the area, then make sure to drop by and bring a friend!