Following the launch of the Georgia Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty, several more media outlets have reported on the newfound momentum in Georgia.
Baker Owens of Insider Advantage Georgia reported,
A group of conservatives gathered at the Gold Dome last week to announce the formation of a state group aimed at a seemingly unlikely goal – questioning the alignment of capital punishment with conservative principles. Speakers at the news conference included;
State Rep. Brett Harrell, R-Snellville
David Burge, fmr. Chairman, Georgia 5th Congressional District Republican Party
Richard Lorenc, COO, Georgia-based Foundation for Economic Freedom
Austin Paul, Past Co-Chairman of the Mercer University College Republicans
Jennifer Maffessanti, Chairwoman, Atlanta Chapter, America’s Future Foundation
Marc Hyden, National Coordinator, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty
Meanwhile, Kaitlyn Schallhorn from the staunchly conservative news source, the Blaze, wrote,
With a Georgia lawmaker leading the way, a coalition of conservatives against the death penalty began to make waves last week.
Georgia Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty formally announced its formation on Jan. 19. Made up of Republican lawmakers, a college student and nonprofit leaders, the group is quite diverse, but its mission is simple: To educate people on capital punishment and eradicate it.
“I am skeptical of our government’s ability to implement efficient and effective programs, and so a healthy skepticism of our state’s death penalty is warranted, “ state Rep. Brett Harrell (R) said in a statement. “Many individuals have been wrongly convicted and sentenced to die. Meanwhile, taxpayers are forced to pay for this risky government program, even though it costs more than life without parole.”
Marc Hyden, the national coordinator of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty told TheBlaze that the first step would be for the state legislature to “re-evaluate” the death penalty and “have a candid discussion about [it], educate themselves, find out what it does in practice rather than in theory.”
Better Georgia’s Shelby Stewart also covered the launch and agreed that there are many reasons why conservatives, or anyone for that matter, should oppose capital punishment. She said,
The death penalty does cost far more than life without parole. In a 2008 case in Georgia, the decision to seek the death penalty cost the state more than 3 million dollars.
On average, pursuing the death penalty in court costs taxpayers twice as much as life in prison including the prison time. A study in Oregon found that “61 death sentences handed down in Oregon cost taxpayers an average of $2.3 million, including incarceration costs, while a comparison group of 313 aggravated murder cases cost an average of $1.4 million.”