It’s official! Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty’s Heather Beaudoin has been working alongside many members of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) for some time, and on October 15, the organization stepped back from its pro-death penalty position of over 40 years. The NAE, with its new position, now recognizes many of the problems with the death penalty and why Christians are increasingly troubled by it.
Oklahoma, Montana, and Arkansas have indefinitely suspended executions. Oklahoma admitted that they executed Charles Warner in January using the wrong drug, potassium acetate, which is commonly used as a food preservative. Richard Glossip was next to be executed in Oklahoma despite his strong claims of innocence.
Arkansas was planning a string of 8 executions after a 10-year hiatus from executing anyone. However, the Arkansas State Supreme Court halted their attempts to resume because the state attempted to shroud its death penalty protocol in secrecy, which hid the source of the drugs from the taxpayers. This clear violation of transparency in government that conservatives demand was the last straw for the state’s supreme court as it issued an indefinite stay of all executions in Arkansas.
Montana also joined the string of states whose death penalty protocols failed to meet the standards of existing law. The Montana Supreme Court stated that one of the state’s death penalty drugs is a violation of state law, which halts all executions indefinitely.
Conservatives Concerned in the media
• Heather Beaudoin weighed in on numerous media outlets about the NAE’s change on the death penalty. She was highlighted in the Christian Examiner, Boston Pilot, Christian Post, and the Gospel Herald.
• I penned two op-eds this month. One described the conservative case against the death penalty in Kentucky’s WCPO Channel 9, and I explained in Voices of Liberty why Texas should think twice about executing Scott Panetti, a man with a clear history of mental illness.
• I was interviewed for two pieces in Sputnik where I discussed Montana’s de facto death penalty moratorium and Governor Ricketts’ attempts to resuscitate Nebraska’s capital punishment program.
• CCATDP was also featured in the Week (twice, actually), Hot Air, LA Times, NPR-Jacksonville, and the Libertarian Republic.
• CCATDP supporter and Florida Young Americans for Liberty Chair, Brittany Turner, wrote an op-ed describing the dangers that plague the death penalty.
Conservatives Concerned in the field
I traveled to Macon, Georgia, where I spoke to the Mercer University College Republicans about Georgia’s failed death penalty system. Many attendees initially supported capital punishment, but by the end of the presentation, few had full faith in the death penalty.
After speaking at Mercer, I visited the University of Alabama where I presented to the college’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter and pro-life group. Students approached me afterwards expressing how in the span of less than an hour, they moved from supporting capital punishment with zeal to fully supporting repeal.
I was present at the Northern Kentucky Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty’s inaugural event, and I addressed a room full of Kentuckians. It was a lively debate, but by the end, many were asking for more information and how to become involved.
CCATDP will be on the road once again this month. CCATDP’s Ben Jones will be participating in a debate hosted by the University of Arkansas Law School’s Federalist Society on November 5 at 12:00 pm.
I will participate in a panel discussion at the Oklahoma Political Science Association on November 6. I will describe why conservatives are increasingly speaking out against the death penalty.
On November 10, I will speak at one of the nation’s premier conservative educational institutions, Hillsdale College. In an event hosted by Young Americans for Freedom, I will discuss the shifting conservative momentum against capital punishment.
As always, if you’re in the area, please drop by and bring a friend!
Call to action
Let your friends and family members know about how the death penalty debate is changing. Click here to share the National Association of Evangelicals’ resolution on the death penalty on Facebook, and click here to share the Week’s article on the Rise of the Anti-Death Penalty Conservative on Facebook.