The Death Penalty Information Center’s annual report was released this morning, and to nobody’s surprise, they found that the death penalty is in a steep decline. In 2015, America witnessed the fewest number of death sentences in 40 years and the fewest number of executions since 1991. However, only 6 states accounted for these executions as the United States is increasingly abandoning capital punishment. While the death penalty’s usage is dwindling, the risks are unfortunately still prevalent. In 2015 alone, it was discovered that 6 men were wrongly sentenced to die, and they spent an average of 19 years in prison.
Support for the death penalty also continues to erode in states that actively execute inmates. In the past month, a poll was conducted in one of the most conservative states in America – Oklahoma. According to the survey, a majority of Oklahomans and a plurality of Republicans in the Sooner State support repealing and replacing the death penalty.
In nearby Nebraska, the capital punishment debate continues, but the Cornhusker State’s governor announced that he was at least temporarily admitting defeat. Stymied by federal law, he conceded that he cannot obtain the necessary drugs to resume executions, and therefore, he will not attempt to revive the program until after the state’s death penalty referendum in 2016. However, Nebraska may not be able to recoup the $54,000 that the state spent in an attempt to illegally acquire lethal injection drugs.
Conservatives Concerned in the media
I’m sure you saw some of our media hits this month, but if you didn’t, here are few that you shouldn’t miss:
• CCATDP’s Ben Jones explained the conservative case against the death penalty in the Harvard Law Record, and CCATDP’s Heather Beaudoin described why evangelical Christians are increasingly opposing capital punishment in Evangelical Focus.
• I returned as a guest to the Scott Adams’ Radio Show to discuss the growing conservative support for repeal, and the Hillsdale Collegian covered my recent speaking engagement at Hillsdale College, a noted bastion of conservative intellectual thought.
• The Reading Eagle also interviewed me for a piece describing why the death penalty is fading away.
Conservatives Concerned in the field
Late last month, I traveled to Tampa, Florida, where I spoke at the University of South Florida’s Voter’s Forum, which was hosted by the school’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter. The event was well attended and filled with conservatives and libertarians persuaded by the case for ending the death penalty.
It’s not too early to start thinking about CPAC 2016. We will be returning to where it all started for us. This will be our fourth CPAC in a row, and it looks to be one of our most successful. You can get tickets here, and we hope to see you there!
From the Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty family, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a safe and very merry Christmas!