Category Archives: Law Enforcement

Retired Kansas Secretary of Corrections Werholtz: “It’s time to end the death penalty”.

Roger Werholtz

 

Retired Kansas Secretary of Corrections, Roger Werholtz, has spoken out recently twice in support of death penalty abolition.

 

He served as Secretary of Corrections in Kansas for 8 years, as well as interim director in the Colorado Department of Corrections in 2013. He told the October 21st Abolition Conference that there is too much misconduct and error in the system “to be absolutely certain” we would not execute an innocent person.

 

He also addressed public safety and shared about his conversations with the families of the last 3 corrections professionals murdered in Colorado. All of them opposed the death penalty because they knew there were better ways to keep the public safe.

 

Secretary Werholtz told conference attendees “because of the drain of resources the death penalty creates in Kansas we’re not as safe as we could be.”

 

Then, in a October 31st guest column in the Topeka Capital Journal, Secretary Werholtz reiterated how the death penalty harms public safety.  He noted that studies have shown defense and court costs are significantly higher in death penalty cases.  He documented the ongoing challenges in the Kansas prison system–inability to staff the prisons, mandatory overtime, high prison guard turnover, loss of programs that do make a difference in prisoner behavior.  He went on to address the issue of a new prison and the resultant need for a new execution chamber.  Secretary Werholtz noted that consequences of moving the death chamber to El Dorado would be additional trauma for the staff there because of the well documented psychological cost for staff who know an inmate and participate in his/her execution.

 

He concluded his guest column this way:  “…There is no shortage of needs for the current Kansas Department of Corrections. We absolutely shouldn’t do anything to make the job of being a Kansas corrections officer even more difficult. With funds so scarce, and the needs so great, it simply makes no sense for us to continue to invest more in our ineffective death penalty. The opportunity is ripe: It’s time to end the death penalty.”

 

Online Video Conference: Making Communities Safer By Abolishing the Death Penalty

 

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is hosting an online video conference  at 1:00pm CT, Thursday, October 25th focusing on how communities can be safer without the death penalty.  The conference will feature a former prison warden, a corrections official and a death row exoneree.  This is a great opportunity to hear a law enforcement perspective on why we should repeal and replace the death penalty with life without parole.

 

To watch the conference, go to http://abolish2012.ncadp.org.  The live video conference will begin at 1:00pm CT.

 

 

 

And don’t forget to register for KCADP’s 2012 Abolition Conference on Nov 10th!  Dr. Allen Ault, a former death row warden, will be the keynote speaker. Following his keynote address, conference attendees can participate in brief workshops covering different aspects of the death penalty.

 

Register for this free event online HERE or contact Kristin at 785-235-0214!

 

Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial Day is May 4th

 

Kansans are observing Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial Day with a ceremony in Topeka on the Statehouse grounds, Friday, May 4th.

 

Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial Day recognizes those law enforcement officials who have been lost in the line of duty defending our public safety.

 

Kansas’ Law Enforcement Memorial Day also coincides with National Police Week and National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day.  This year, National Police Week is being celebrated May 13-19th and National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day will be observed on May 15th.

 

We hope you will join us in honoring all of our Kansas law enforcement officials for their service and remembering those officers who have given their lives while working to make Kansas safe.

 

“Smart on Crime” Study Finds Low Support for Death Penalty Among Police Chiefs

The Death Penalty Information Center conducted a survey of 500 police chiefs in the United States.

 

The survey found that the law enforcement leaders ranked the death penalty as their last choice of crime fighting tools and “the least efficient use of taxpayer’s money.”

 

Instead, 57 percent of the police chiefs agreed that the death penalty does not work as a deterrent.  The study also examines the cost of the death penalty, and how death penalty cases can burden county and state budgets.

 

You can read the full “Smart on Crime” study here.