Last week, Florida State’s Attorney Aramis Ayala announced that she will not seek any death sentences during her tenure as the prosecutor in the 9th district (serving Orange and Osceola Counties). This is welcome news given that Orange County has historically been one of the leading death penalty counties in America.
There are good reasons to eschew capital punishment. It costs millions more than its alternatives, doesn’t protect society, and can harm murder victims’ families. Most importantly, it risks innocent lives because the criminal justice system is dangerously fallible.
Consider the recent report from the University of California Irvine, where researchers found that more people were exonerated of various crimes in 2016 than in any other year – a total of at least 166 people from only the 25 states that were studied. The same fallibility that led to these wrongful convictions also affects capital cases, and as such, Ayala should be commended for her decision to avoid death sentences during her term.
Conservatives Concerned In the field
In late February, CCATDP returned to CPAC as an exhibitor to inform and educate our fellow conservatives about why we are concerned about the death penalty. CCATDP leaders from Georgia, Utah, Missouri, and South Carolina attended the conference and worked our booth, where we met hundreds of conservatives who oppose capital punishment.
Earlier this month, I spoke to the Kennesaw State University chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. The room was packed with attentive and very supportive students who asked many questions and inquired about getting involved.
This week, I presented the American conservative case against capital punishment via Skype to the University of Leeds Anti-Death Penalty Society in England. The attendees were excited to learn about capital punishment’s dwindling usage in the United States and expressed their interest in abolishing the death penalty worldwide.
Conservatives Concerned in the media
This month has provided great opportunity to share our message. Take a look at some our media coverage below:
- Earlier last month, Harper’s Magazine published a feature-length article highlighting CCATDP’s diligent work.
- I was a guest on the Todd ‘Bubba’ Horwitz Radio Show, and the Blaze interviewed me for a piece describing why conservatives are concerned about the death penalty.
- While at CPAC, I was a guest on Da Tech Guy Blog, Talk Media News, KLRN Radio, the Wayne Dupree Show, Warfighter Radio, and many others to discuss our broken capital punishment program. Meanwhile, fellow CPAC attendee and current Utah CCATDP group leader, Kevin Greene, was interviewed on Seattle’s Talk Radio KVI 570.
- CCATDP’s Heather Beaudoin was also busy sharing the message that conservatism is inconsistent with the death penalty as she was interviewed on Q with a View and the Genesis Communications Network. She was also included in this article in the Washington Examiner.
- Following CPAC’s conclusion, CCATDP’s growing media presence continued. We were included in articles posted by the Yale Politic, Before It’s News, the Huffington Post, and I was a guest on the Chosen Generation radio show with Pastor Gregory Young.
On March 22 at 7 pm, I will be speaking at the College of William and Mary about why Virginians are better off without the death penalty. The event will be in Washington Hall’s room 201.
After the William and Mary lecture, I will travel to Oklahoma for a few speaking engagements. On April 19 at noon, I will be presenting to the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC). The meeting will be at Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen in Oklahoma City.
On April 20 at 7 pm, I will be speaking to the University of Tulsa College Republicans in the Student Union about Oklahoma’s sordid history with capital punishment.
If you’re in town on any of these dates, then please feel free to attend!
Let your friends know what CCATDP has been up to by clicking here to share the Harper’s story on Facebook and click here to share the good news about Aramis Ayala’s decision to not pursue capital cases during her term.
Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (CCATDP), a project of Equal Justice USA, is a network of political and social conservatives who question the alignment of capital punishment with conservative principles and values. For news and updates from CCATDP, join their email list.