Death Penalty Support Plunges to 40-Year Low – an update from CCATDP

Florida’s death penalty has remained in the national spotlight as of late. In January, the Sunshine State’s capital sentencing scheme was ruled unconstitutional because it gave judges, rather than jurors, too much power in the death penalty sentencing process. As a result, Florida’s legislature passed a bill requiring at least a 10-2 jury vote in order to sentence someone to die, but this statute was quickly deemed unconstitutional by a Miami-Dade judge.

However, the courts didn’t settle the matter until recently when the decision was appealed to the state’s Supreme Court, which agreed that Florida’s sentencing statute was a constitutional violation. Until the legislature addresses this issue, Florida is effectively without a death penalty, which should be a welcome hiatus given the state’s poor record with capital punishment.

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Unconstitutional – an update from CCATDP

The latest sign that the death penalty is falling out of favor comes from Delaware, where earlier this month, the State Supreme Court struck down Delaware’s capital punishment statute as unconstitutional. The Court found that judges rather than juries wielded far too much power in determining who received a death sentence. The Delaware Attorney General has announced that his office will not appeal the ruling, which makes Delaware the latest in a growing number of states to scrap capital punishment.

Support for the death penalty is also shrinking across the United States. Two recently released polls show how unpopular capital punishment is becoming. According to the surveys, around 72% of Kentuckians and 53% of Oklahomans prefer alternatives to the death penalty.

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Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty

Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty was featured in the Sunday edition of the Washington Post. The article’s author, Marin Cogan, interviewed CCATDP’s Heather Beaudoin and myself, and Cogan highlighted why conservatives are increasingly changing their views on the death penalty. She wrote,

Beaudoin reaches out to evangelical and other faith-based leaders and gets them talking about policy; her colleague Marc Hyden, the group’s national advocacy coordinator, works with movement conservatives, college Republicans, tea party activists and libertarians.

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CCATDP’s Marc Hyden on Tipping Point with Liz Wheeler

Last week, I was a guest on Tipping Point with Liz Wheeler to discuss Oklahoma’s damning grand jury report on their lethal injection scandal and Florida’s unconstitutional death penalty. You can watch the segment below:

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.

Libertarian and pro-life conferences highlight death penalty repeal

Ben and Kathleen at the Life/Peace/Justice Conference Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty (CCATDP), a project of EJUSA, crisscrossed the country in April. CCATDP’s National Coordinator Marc Hyden made trips to Tennessee and Utah, while I traveled to Orlando for the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Florida State Convention and then to Philadelphia for the Life/Peace/Justice Conference. Our participation in these conferences reflects the interest in CCATDP across a variety of different constituencies, including libertarian and pro-life groups.

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Why conservatives are abandoning the death penalty

Earlier this week, an article that I wrote was published in the ultra conservative Washington Examiner. In the piece, I expanded on the conservative case against the death penalty.

I wrote:

Regardless of whether one supports the death penalty in theory, in practice capital punishment has a long documented history of failing to live up to conservative principles. We conservatives pride ourselves on abiding by our foundational tenets, including promoting pro-life policies, fiscal responsibility and limited government, but the death penalty violates each of these core values.

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Republicans at the forefront of death penalty repeal campaigns

Republicans at the forefront of death penalty repeal campaignsMost states will start the New Year with a new legislative session, which means supporters of death penalty repeal are preparing efforts to end the death penalty across the country. In the wake of repeal in Nebraska – an effort championed by conservatives – more Republicans are stepping up to lead many of these campaigns.

In Kansas, Republican Representative Steven Becker has already announced his plans to sponsor repeal legislation. In his corner stands the state’s Republican Liberty Caucus and the Kansas Federation of College Republicans, both of which passed resolutions in support of repeal. Last year, the Kansas Republican Party modified its party platform to remove support of the death penalty.
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