The botched execution of Clayton Lockett cast the national spotlight on the current death penalty system. Lockett was given a combination of untested execution drugs, which were acquired through a secret source. He failed to die after 10 minutes of receiving the drugs. The execution was stayed, and he died of a heart attack 45 minutes later.
Conservatives and evangelicals alike reacted with dismay, and many vocally rejected the failing system of capital punishment. The poor execution protocol and lack of transparency is yet another byproduct of this broken system, which more and more conservatives are questioning.
Most recently, conservative icon, Colonel Oliver North reaffirmed his opposition to the death penalty in a Politisite article written by Kevin Williams. Colonel North said, “I’m a “law and order” guy. Don’t get me wrong. Individuals need to be held accountable. I don’t believe in mass punishments and group responsibilities and the kinds of fuzzy-wuzzy stuff of the Left, but I have always felt… and always said that there are very serious questions about the justice of the death penalty. Just a few months ago, a man (Glenn Ford) who was on death row for thirty years was found to be innocent.”
Adding to the many concerns of the death penalty is a new study that suggests that as many as 4.1% or more of the current death row inmates are innocent.
Conservatives Concerned in the media
Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty has also enjoyed an abundance of media coverage as more conservatives speak out against capital punishment. There were too many to name, but here are a few of our favorites:
• We were featured in Newsweek’s article “An Unlikely Conservative Cause: Abolish the Death Penalty,” LA Times piece, “Botched Oklahoma execution boosts conservative death penalty foes,” Cathy Reisenwitz’s Townhall column “Clayton Lockett and the Death Penalty Present a Conundrum for Conservatives,” and the Huffington Post’s “Hispanic Evangelicals Call for Change in Capital Punishment.”
• Conservative death row exoneree, Ron Keine, wrote an op-ed for the Daily Caller, and I wrote this article for the Foundation for Economic Education’s magazine, the Freeman.
• I was a guest on Sirius XM Radio’s StandUp with Pete Dominick and Kentucky’s Mike Janocik Radio Show.
Conservatives Concerned in the field
We were featured as a speaker at the California State Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) convention. We hosted a busy booth at the YAL convention and had the opportunity to meet a direct descendent of one of the first known wrongful convictions in the Americas. The great (times 8) grandson of Mary Towne Estey told me how she was executed for being a purported witch in Salem Massachusetts on September 22, 1692.
Ben Jones attended the Kansas Young Republican Convention, and was well received by the many young conservatives who attended the event.
I will join the North Carolina Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty group at the NC GOP state convention on June 6-8 as they exhibit and officially debut their ever-growing group.
CCATDP will also be exhibiting at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference in Washington DC on June 19-21.