Kansas’ Undesired Silver Anniversary

 

 

 

 

On July 1st, Kansas began year twenty five of the death penalty law in Kansas.  July is also a month ripe with candidate campaigns——campaign events, phone calling, door knocking, mailings, and candidates present at parades and debates.

 

KCADP has begun its formal candidate education process by reaching out to legislative candidates.  We want to make sure they know:

  • There are Kansas murder victim families who advocate for alternatives to the death penalty
  • In capital cases where the death penalty is sought, defense and district court costs are 3 to 4 times higher than in similar cases where the death penalty isn’t being sought.  Prosecutors won’t tell you how much more they spend but they have been before county commissions asking for additional money for capital cases.
  • Kansas has serious enough problems with wrongful conviction that Gov. Colyer signed HB 2579.  This legislation was passed this spring to compensate people who are innocent and sent to prison.

 

A number of the candidates have written back in response to our educational piece, including some who are asking for more dialogue.  That is exciting and we are following up.  There is more work to be done.

 

Ending the Kansas death penalty takes ALL of us—-board members and KCADP general members alike.  Which candidates might benefit from you speaking with them about why you think Kansas should end the death penalty?  Could your voice be one that makes a difference in the position of a 2019 session legislator?

 

 

Abolition is a Non-Partisan Issue

 

Many Kansans used to think that a politician’s stance on abolition could be predicted by what party he or she was representing. The 2010 Senate vote showed the fallacy of that belief. Twelve Republicans and eight Democrats supported abolition, and nineteen Republicans and one Democrat opposed it. The most recent abolition bill, HB 2167, introduced in 2017, continued the non-partisan tradition with eight Republicans and seven Democrats sponsoring.

 

We saw further evidence of this non-partisan reality this spring when KCADP was invited to speak at the Libertarian Party of Kansas state convention. On April 21st, Ron Wurtz spoke with conference participants about death penalty abolition. The Libertarians have death penalty abolition as part of their platform, and they became an abolition endorsing group here in Kansas several years ago.

 

The rise of support by conservatives in Kansas and elsewhere for death penalty abolition has been seen in our own work as well as the formation of the national group Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.   Click here to learn more about why conservatives are supporting abolition.

 

Death penalty abolition is not a one party position. So, as candidates travel through the state, please engage with them about why you support ending the death penalty. Your earnest conversation with them about why abolition makes sense could be the spark they need to either further solidify their own support for abolition OR the spark needed to get them to consider supporting abolition!

 

It’s “Candidate” Season!

  When we look outside, we see that the seasons are changing.  Trees are leafing out, spring flowers are blooming and lawns too are growing.   It’s a season of political changes too.  The Legislature has ended and the next season—Candidate season—is already evident too.     In the elections this year Kansans will choose…

“What I saw set my soul on fire…”

“They killed a man with fire one night. They strapped him in a wooden chair and pumped electricity through his body until he was dead.” …I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. What I saw set my soul on fire, a fire that burns me still. And now here is an account…

‘Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues”

Sr. Helen Prejean is coming to Kansas!   Monday March 5th at 7 p.m.   Woodruff Auditorium in the Memorial Union on the KU Campus in Lawrence   Jayhawks for Life is sponsoring this event which is free and open to the public.  This is a great opportunity to hear such an inspiring speaker!  …