What Florida Conservatives and Libertarians are Saying
“We have other ways to protect society and punish those who have been convicted of heinous crimes besides state-sanctioned killing. The application of the death penalty is deeply flawed and can be irreversibly wrong. Its fairness and deterrence effectiveness should be seriously re-examined. Our country would benefit from building a culture of life and ending the cycle of violence.”
Brian T. Empric, Vice Chairman, Florida Federation of Young Republicans
“I oppose capital punishment because of the issues of fairness and trust. The death penalty is not imposed in a fair, just, or consistent manner. The skill and/or ineptitude of the attorneys, the defendant’s income level, the crime location, and the victim’s race are all factors that influence convictions. Statistics prove racial disparity in sentencing.
Trust is an issue when modern forensics proves time and again that innocent people have been wrongfully convicted of crimes and are too often sentenced to death. U.S. attorneys are political appointees whose career ambitions are too often connected to political goals. Prosecutors are elected in most states and are usually involved in local politics. Elected judges impose the death penalty at a higher rate than appointed judges.
Officials are only human and susceptible to politics, ambition, incompetence, honest mistakes, and other outside influences, which may distract or even conflict with the impartial administration of justice. When a mistake is made in the death penalty process, an innocent person may be executed by the state. This is an injustice, which we can easily avoid.”
Mark Cross, Executive Board Member, Republican Party of Florida and Chairman of Florida Campaign for Liberty
“Several cases have emerged where convicted people were found innocent (partly with thanks to advances in science) for crimes they spend a large portion of their lives serving time for, and if it weren’t for organizations like CCATDP, legal teams, scientists, and activists advocating for their rights they may have been executed for crimes they have not committed – this is murder. This is too big of a risk to stake a person’s life on. How many death row cases remain closed that have yet to be re-opened and re-evaluated with the latest scientific tools? How many potentially innocent death row inmates are being robbed of their lives like Henry McCollum was? If you support the death penalty, let me ask you this – do you trust the legal system enough to stake your own life on a death sentence?”
-Katharine Orr, former State Chair, Florida Young Americans for Liberty
“The process of the death penalty is a prime example of Big Government inefficiency. Mistakes happen, and a mistake in imposing the death penalty can mean the wrongful killing of an innocent person.”
James Purdy, Former Volusia County GOP Chairman and Former Assistant Attorney General
Source: “The conservative case against the death penalty,” The Daytona Beach News Journal, January 31, 2016.
“When I began to explore the pros and cons of the death penalty, I was astonished to learn that more than 150 people have been released from death row because of wrongful convictions. If there is a law that allows for even the slightest chance of killing an innocent, then that law is not good. The justice system, oftentimes, is not so much about a law itself, but rather who enforces it. People are fallible, we make mistakes, and sometime people’s motives are suspect.”
Mohammed Shaker, Field Representative with the Leadership Institute
Source: “The death penalty is incompatible with American liberty,” Rare, July 13, 2015.
“When people are educated about alternatives to the death penalty, such as life without possibility of parole, I think it makes people turn away from capital punishment. It means we don’t have to risk killing innocent people, we don’t have to make murder victims’ families suffer through a prolonged legal process and we don’t have to waste endless amounts of money for nothing in return.”
Brittany Turner, Former State Chair, Florida Young Americans for Liberty
Source: “Death shouldn’t be option for mentally ill inmates,” Central Florida Future, September 25, 2015.
“My thoughts on capital punishment started to change as a teenager after watching a television special about the death penalty. The hosts interviewed a former death row inmate who was set free after it was discovered prosecutors had withheld evidence. It immediately hit me that he could be anyone of us! It could be me or you being convicted of a murder that we didn’t commit and being executed.”
Matt Arbos, Co-founder of the University of Central Florida’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter
Source: “Florida must get serious about alternatives to death penalty,” Orlando Sentinel, November 22, 2014.
“The system is too fragile and imperfect to risk anyone – not a single person – being put to death by the state or made to suffer 24-7 in a sweltering Death Row chamber for 20 or 30 years.”
Marshall Frank, conservative and retired Miami-Dade police detective
Source: “Ending death penalty is right in every way,” Florida Today, January 16, 2017.
Information and resources
- Facts about the death penalty in Florida
- Death-penalty ruling opens door to reform
- Melendez: The death penalty risks innocent lives – I know
- Viewpoint: Conservatives should not support death penalty
- Group Claims Capital Punishment Is Anti-Conservative and Bad in Florida
- Death Penalty: Negatives Outweigh Positives
- CCATDP’s Marc Hyden speaking at the Florida Panhandle Patriots