Kate Scanlon of the Blaze interviewed me earlier this week in advance of our CPAC appearance. She asked me to present the conservative case against the death penalty to her and to describe what kind of experience we expect at CPAC later this week.
Marc Hyden, the national coordinator of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty told TheBlaze that the death penalty “risks innocent lives” at the hands of government.
“If we’re risking innocent lives, I don’t think we can call that pro-life,” Hyden said.
Hyden argued that it costs millions more in taxpayer funds to execute a prisoner than it does to sentence them to life without parole, making an execution neither “fiscally responsible or prudent.”
“There’s nothing limited about giving an error-prone government the power to kill its citizens, especially since this is the same government who had a hard enough time launching a health care website,” Hyden said, referring to the botched roll-out of the Obamacare website.
Hyden, who once worked for the National Rifle Association, said he was used to receiving support from conservatives at conferences such as CPAC, so he was a little apprehensive about the reaction he would get when he started arguing against the death penalty. But he said many conservatives have been receptive.
“At our first CPAC, people came up to us and said, ‘Thank God you exist, I’ve been against the death penalty for years,’” he said. “They also thought that they were the only conservative who felt that way. But that isn’t true … there’s a national movement out there.”
“This is the conservative grassroots,” he added of CPAC. “These are people who care about their tax dollars, who care about whether we’re executing innocent people, who care about limited government. So I find that they’ve been a very personable crowd.”
Hyden said that a warm reception from conservatives is indicative of a decrease in support for the death penalty.