Following the big news out of Nebraska, CCATDP was featured in numerous news outlets, including the Atlantic, the Economist, and the Christian Science Monitor.
Russell Berman from the Atlantic said,
Nebraska on Wednesday became the first conservative state in more than four decades to repeal the death penalty. Its legislature, officially non-partisan but dominated by Republicans, voted by the narrowest of possible margins to override a veto by Governor Pete Ricketts, and enact a law scrapping a punishment that the state has struggled to carry out.
Berman also interviewed me for his story and wrote,
“It’s not just about the procurement of drugs,” said Marc Hyden of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, an organization that sprouted up in Montana several years ago and has since expanded nationally. “It’s not pro-life because it risks innocent life. It’s not fiscally responsible because it costs millions more dollars than life without parole.” Yet Nebraska’s bumbling and occasionally shady attempts to carry out death sentences—along with incidents in neighboring states like the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma—have given rise to another argument that sells among conservatives: the death penalty is just another example of government run amok.
The Economist’s Vendeline Von Bredow included CCATDP in her coverage of Nebraska’s abolition of capital punishment. She said,
Marc Hyden of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty, a lobby group, views it as “antithetical to conservative principles”. The trend against capital punishment is part of Americans’ increased scepticism about government power, he says, as there is no greater power than the right to kill a citizen. And more Americans worry that innocent people could die because of the death penalty. Since 1973 more than 150 death sentences have been reversed.
Von Bredow closed with optimism about the likelihood of other conservative also taking up the mantle of death penalty reform.
Will other conservative states follow Nebraska? Although a divisive topic, it seems to encourage some lawmakers to work together across party lines, as was the case in Nebraska.
The Christian Science Monitor also closely followed the events in Nebraska and interviewed CCATDP’s Heather Beaudoin and me. The author, Harry Bruinius said,
Hyden tells groups that capital punishment violates three core conservative principles: pro-life values, the importance of fiscal responsibility, and limited government.
“It’s not representative of a limited government to give an error-prone state the power to kill its citizens,” he says.
Bruinius quoted Heather Beaudoin as saying,
“This is a watershed moment,” says Heather Beaudoin, a national organizer with Equal Justice USA, which sponsors the Conservatives Concerned network. “There were always those of us who were concerned about the death penalty, but we didn’t have the space to talk about this issue on our own terms, or explain why we are concerned.”
Bruinius said this is a “sign of broader conservative backlash to death penalty,” and he wrote,
But the historic repeal of the Nebraska law gives conservative activists like Beaudoin hope that progressives and conservatives can find common political ground when they can and work towards common goals when possible – even if for profoundly different reasons.
If you’d like to read more news coverage of CCATDP and the effort to repeal Nebraska’s death penalty, then be sure to check out what the Heritage Foundation’s Kate Scanlon said in the Daily Signal and read what Naureen Khan wrote in Al-Jazeera.