Alan Greenblatt from Governing Magazine published an article yesterday detailing the growing conservative movement to end the death penalty.
It’s a government program that is prone to error, marred by long delays and far more expensive than alternative policies. So it may be little wonder that the death penalty keeps attracting new opposition. But it’s surprising where some of that opposition is coming from.
Conservatives are increasingly becoming outspoken objectors to the death penalty’s systemic failures. Greenblatt continued,
The average death row inmate can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year more to house than run-of-the-mill criminals. Prisoners who are executed can cost upward of $1 million more than those sentenced to life without possibility of parole. “This is a program that’s so bad, the left and right can actually agree on it,” says Marc Hyden, a former field representative with the National Rifle Association who now works for an advocacy group called Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.
Greenblatt closed by stating,
But it’s indisputable that the growing corps of death penalty skeptics now includes many conservatives. There are enough Republican legislators in Washington state ready to join with Democrats that a repeal measure there could pass, if a key committee chair would allow it to come to a vote. “Many of us conservatives don’t trust government to launch a health-care program or fill potholes, let alone carry out life and death,” Hyden says. “It’s the quintessential broken big-government program.”