CCATDP formed in 2013 to shatter the myth of universal conservative death penalty support. With your help, I believe that we have accomplished that goal. Grassroots conservatives and many well-known political thought leaders are now openly questioning capital punishment with great frequency.
A mere four years since our founding, we have proof that conservative lawmakers are also increasingly supporting death penalty repeal. Today at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., we unveiled our report, “The Right Way,” which demonstrates this point.
Joined by current and former Republican death penalty sponsors, I spoke at the press event and highlighted our exciting findings. From the year 2000 to 2012, the annual number of Republican state lawmakers sponsoring death penalty repeal bills never rose above single digits. However, in 2013 (the year CCATDP launched), the number of Republican sponsors more than doubled to 20.
The numbers have stayed in the double digits ever since. In fact, in 2016, ten times as many Republicans sponsored repeal bills than in 2000.
The change in the conservative world is being felt outside of state capitols too. Kansas is a prime example of this. The state’s Republican Party recently abandoned its pro-death penalty position. Meanwhile, the Kansas Republican Liberty Caucus and Kansas Federation of College Republicans adopted resolutions calling for the death penalty’s repeal.
Kansas isn’t the exception. Activists in red states across the US are turning against capital punishment, which is why we now have 11 state-based Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty groups, with more likely on the way.
But there’s more good news: Death sentences, executions, and support for the death penalty are all at or near historic lows.
Capital punishment’s slow decline is a welcome development, but it’s no coincidence that as conservative death penalty opposition rises, capital punishment itself continues to dwindle. You’re a part of that change, and for that, we thank you!