Last year, Georgia led the nation in executions with nine, which was the most in the Peach State’s history. While executions are at record levels, no one has been sentenced to die in Georgia in nearly three years, which suggests that its death penalty is slowly dying. However, there are many in Georgia who wish to hasten its demise. Just last week, a group of conservatives and libertarians came together to launch the Georgia Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty (GA CCATDP) group and call on the state legislature to reexamine capital punishment. The press event was attended by a conservative state representative, former Republican Party official, think tank leader, and activists from across the state who described in detail why capital punishment is inconsistent with their values.
Republican State Representative and press conference participant, Brett Harrell, said, “I like to make sure that government is as efficient, effective, and small as possible,” but when speaking about the death penalty, “the government has failed to provide an efficient, effective, accurate system.”
If you missed the press conference, you can watch it here.
Further south in Florida, the death penalty continues cause problems and disruption in the legal process. After having its capital sentencing scheme ruled unconstitutional multiple times, Florida’s death penalty is in limbo. Until the legislature attempts to address the constitutional issues, Florida prosecutors are unable to pursue death cases. Moreover, it appears that all Florida death row inmates who were sentenced to die as a result of a non-unanimous jury decision since 2002 will require a new sentencing trial. This is required because they were unconstitutionally condemned, but the spate of new trials will ensure that the already costly process will become even more expensive.
Conservatives Concerned in the media
- CCATDP’s Heather Beaudoin penned an op-ed for Bold in which she described why millennials and people of color will be key in repealing capital punishment.
- Former Koch Fellow, Thomas Johnson, wrote an article highlighting Texas’ dying death penalty. It was published at the Texas Tribune and the Herald Democrat.
- Friend of CCATDP and Liberty on Tap chapter leader, Craig Dawkins, also authored a piece explaining why Oklahoma’s broken capital punishment system shouldn’t be celebrated.
- I was a guest on the Conservative Syndicate where I presented the conservative case against the death penalty, and I was interviewed for an article about Florida’s problematic capital punishment program.
- The GA CCATDP launch was widely covered by the media. It was reported by the AJC twice, Gwinnett Daily Post, Georgia POL, All on Georgia, Fox 24/ABC 16, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Georgia Unfiltered, GA Pundit, the LA Times, and the Georgia News Network.
CCATDP will be returning to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for the 5th year in a row early next year, and conservatives from across the nation will join CCATDP at the conference. The event will be in National Harbor, Maryland, from February 22-25 in 2017. If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll drop by and say hello!
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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.