Following the Arkansas debacle, in which the state had originally planned to execute 8 people in 10 days, the Washington Post published a story on conservatives’ positions on the death penalty and how the Arkansas episode is altering their views.
Post writer, Amber Phillips wrote,
The Supreme Court said Monday that Arkansas won’t be able to execute two of its death-row inmates. And a growing number of conservatives, who see the death penalty as an anachronistic, religiously hypocritical and big-government waste of money, are just fine with that.
She also interviewed Georgia State Representative Brett Harrell (R-Snellville), who previously spoke at the Georgia Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty’s launch, for the story:
“For me, both as a fiscal conservative as well as a person of faith, we’ve evolved to a point in society where it’s not necessary,” said longtime Georgia state Rep. Brett Harrell (R), who just unveiled his opposition to the death penalty.
In January, Harrell helped announced the formation of Georgia’s branch of Conservatives Against the Death Penalty, a faction of a national group formed in 2013 that has now expanded to 11 states and counting, including in very red states such as Utah, Kansas and Nebraska.
But Arkansas is drawing the attention of even pro-death-penalty Republicans. Marc Hyden, with the national branch of Conservatives Against the Death Penalty, said he’s in contact with national tea party leaders who are privately put off by the rush to execute in Arkansas. They’re not necessarily changing their minds about it, but there’s a sense that the state’s rush to execute these men feels unnecessary, he said.
“I think the inevitable is the death penalty will, at some point, become a thing of the past,” Hyden said.