Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty

Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty Files Amicus Brief

This week, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty filed an Amicus Brief in support of 26 men on Tennessee’s death row.

In their case, the men are seeking to prove that the state’s execution method rises to the level of torture and should be banned. But, due to other laws, they must also show that execution methods that would cause less pain are available.

Tennessee passed a secrecy law in 2011 that blocks public knowledge of the drugs and suppliers used in executions, and because of this the state was able to prevent the defendants from accessing information about the availability of alternative methods during the discovery phase of the trial. This is a violation of the due process rights of the defendants.

You can read the brief here.

Continue Reading →

CCATDP Event in Tennessee featuring Ray Krone

On Tuesday, November 20th the Tennessee Chapter of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty will host an event featuring Ray Krone, the 100th man exonerated from death row. The event will be held at The University of Tennessee’s Haslam Business School from 6:30-7:30 pm ET.

Further details are available at the Eventbrite link here.

Continue Reading →

CCATDP October Updates!

Welcome to October!

International Wrongful Convictions Day

This Tuesday, October 2nd is the Fifth Annual International Wrongful Conviction Day. According to the organizers, this is a day set aside to raise awareness of the causes and remedies of wrongful convictions and to recognize the tremendous personal, social, and emotional costs of wrongful conviction for innocent people and their families.

Help raise awareness for this day on your social media accounts with the hashtag #WrongfulConvictionDay and be sure to tag us @CCATDP! Continue Reading →

Tennessee’s Death Penalty Lottery

A new report out of Tennessee documents the state of the death penalty system in the Volunteer State, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

Tennessee, which just this month executed its first person in nearly a decade, has a track record fraught with mistakes including three exonerations and a staggering rate of death sentences reversed or vacated by the courts due to issues such as ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and innocence. In fact, of the 192 individuals that the state has sentenced to death since 1977, over half (106) have seen their sentences or convictions vacated.

In addition to the glaring innocence issues within the death penalty, the report provides ample evidence that the state’s system is also overrun with issues of arbitrariness. These same problems are what led to the death penalty being banned in the late 1970

Continue Reading →

CCATDP Calls on Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to Act!

CCATDP’s National Manager, Hannah Cox, joined the organization’s State Coordinator for Tennessee, Amy Lawrence, in calling on Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to act swiftly yesterday.

In an open letter posted in the Commercial Appeal, they implored Tennessee’s Governor to commute the sentence of a man with severe mental illness scheduled for an execution this coming Thursday. The execution would be the state’s first in nearly ten years and only its seventh since reinstatement in 1976. The state has exonerated four people during that same time period over innocence issues.

The man, Billy Ray Irick, was institutionalized at the age of eight and grew up in an orphanage for the majority of his childhood. Despite numerous witnesses who attested to his psychotic break at the time of the crime, his illness was never brought up at trial.

You can read the full letter here.

Continue Reading →

Hyden: Conservatives concerned about death penalty

I recently penned an op-ed in the Chattanooga Times Free Press detailing my experiences at Justice Day on the Hill in Nashville, Tennessee, which is an annual event at the capitol hosted by Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. I had the opportunity to speak with Representative McManus, among many others. The op-ed states:

As a fiscal conservative, Representative McManus understands that Tennessee is experiencing the same problems as other states with the death penalty, and we discussed the exorbitant costs of capital punishment.

Rep. McManus, like a growing number of Republicans around the country, told me of his concerns about the possibility of executing an innocent person and how Tennessee’s death penalty system gets it wrong sometimes. He pointed to the case of Paul House, who spent nearly 23 years on Tennessee’s death row before all charges against him were dropped in 2009.

It goes on

Continue Reading →