“Recommended this week” features highlights from the past week in news about the death penalty, crime survivors, and trauma-informed responses to crime.
Evangelical Leaders Call for Halt to Texas Execution Demand New Sentencing Hearing for Jeff Wood, The Gospel Herald
Evangelical Leaders Call for Halt to Texas Execution, Evangelicals for Social Action
Evangelicals urge halt to Texas execution, Baptist News Global
Evangelical leaders: Texas has ‘moral obligation’ to stop execution of death row prisoner, Christian Today
Several stories about the almost 50 Evangelical pastors who called on Texas Governor Greg Abbot and the Board of Paroles and Pardons to commute the death sentence of Jeffrey Wood. Wood is scheduled to be executed on August 23, even though he never killed anyone, had no previous criminal history, and suffers from borderline intellectual functioning and mental illness. Although Wood was involved in a robbery, he didn’t plan to kill anyone and wasn’t even inside the gas station when the victim, Kris Keeran, was shot. He was sitting in a truck outside.
Even violent crime victims say our prisons are making crime worse, The Washington Post
According to a new report from the Alliance for Safety & Justice,“A majority of crime victims prefer investments in treatment & prevention over prison spending.” The report, “Crime Survivors Speak,” includes the first national survey of crime victims’ views on safety and justice policy. It reveals their preference for prevention, health, and rehabilitation over more spending on prisons and jails. Continue Reading →
More than 4,000 people are expected to attend the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit, said to be the largest gathering of conservatives outside of the annual CPAC conference in Washington, DC. Also known as “Rally in the Rockies,” the 3-day event takes place this weekend in Denver.
EJUSA’s Marc Hyden will be attending the conference to talk to participants about Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.
“One year ago, the conservative state of Nebraska repealed the death penalty, and earlier this year the Senate in another conservative state, Utah, voted to repeal the death penalty,” said Marc. “It’s clear that the death penalty’s support is waning, and fewer conservatives want anything to do with a broken government program that risks innocent life, hemorrhages taxpayer money, and fails to serve society or murder victims’ families.”
Stacy Anderson of Colorado’s anti-death penalty group, Better Priorities Initiative, will be joining Marc for the weekend. Motivated by her evangelical faith, Anderson led Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty during last year’s successful repeal campaign in the Cornhusker State.
If you’re attending the conference, you can find Marc and Stacy in the exhibit area at Booth 516.
In college, Senator Colby Coash celebrated at a tailgate party outside of a prison during an execution. Now he’s part of the growing conservative movement to end the death penalty in the United States – a movement that EJUSA’s Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty has helped spawn. Read The Washington Post’s in-depth article about this trend and EJUSA’s impact, featuring interviews with EJUSA staff members Heather Beaudoin and Marc Hyden, who lead Conservatives Concerned.
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.
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.
Most 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.
Continue Reading →