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We, at the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP), continue to be shocked and horrified by the deeds of the Carr brothers, who were convicted in 2002 of multiple Wichita murders. Like every murder that impacts our communities, such crimes deserve severe punishment.
Our hearts break for the victims and their families who want to put these events behind them. Grievous wounds are reopened every time the crime gets new media attention or there is a new development related to the case.
KCADP’s mission is repeal of the death penalty and since Kansas has the alternative of life in prison without any possibility of parole for capital cases, we believe it is the appropriate sentence. Life without parole is a severe sentence that protects the community without the long, difficult and emotionally wrenching legal process associated with capital cases.
Further, many Kansans believe that life is sacred and that state-sanctioned killings are wrong for many reasons. Regardless of faith and philosophical differences, analysis of use of the death penalty shows it is not good public policy, costs more than life without parole, does not have a deterrent effect and increases the suffering of victims’ families.
Traditional and social media around the nation are once again afire with the news of yet another botched execution yesterday of convicted murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood.
We extend every sympathy to the victims and families of horrific crimes. We believe that society needs to be protected and murderers held accountable for their actions.
In this most recent case, Wood died after the State of Arizona, reportedly using the same drugs — the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone — that were used in the botched Ohio execution in January. Witnesses say he gasped and snorted for nearly two hours in another execution gone wrong.
“This case shows us again that the death penalty is fraught with risk, error and expense, and it does nothing to protect society from future crime,” said Donna Schneweis, Chair of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP). Lethal injection has proven to be an unacceptable method for states who still carry out the death penalty as shown in the grotesque executions in Ohio in January and Oklahoma in April. These botched executions call into question every citizen’s right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment.”
The drama and public outcry about these executions do nothing to rectify the problems or heal the emotional wounds of our society. Bungled executions and the risk of executing an innocent person undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system.
The solution is to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole and redirect the savings into services for victim families. The death penalty should not continue.
The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP), the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) and many others are calling for change. This ongoing series of shocking events serves as an even greater motivation to abolish the death penalty in Kansas and join 18 other states that have already outlawed this archaic practice.
Want to be more involved in bringing Abolition to Kansas?
Then check out this open position, it might just be perfect for you!
JOB DESCRIPTION – FIELD ORGANIZER
Job Title: Field Organizer
Position Type: Full-time
Reports To: Executive Director
Salary: Based on Experience
The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP) is a non-profit organization that is preparing for a legislative campaign. The field organizer will be a vital part of this campaign, responsible for traveling to and organizing within key legislative districts under the Executive Director’s supervision and oversight. With a specific focus on Wichita and Western Kansas area supporters – including victims’ families, law enforcement officials, political conservatives, moderates and liberals and diverse faith groups – the field organizer will carry out systematic outreach with the goal of building grassroots support for repeal and identifying key volunteers and partners.
Essential duties and responsibilities include:
Please email your resume and a cover letter to Mary Sloa (maryKSabolitionorg) n at maryKSabolitionorg.
Traditional and social media around the nation are exploding with the news of last night’s botched execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett. Lockett died after the State of Oklahoma, using a new and untested drug combination, aborted the procedure when it was clear that the execution was not proceeding as planned.
News reports and witnesses relate that Lockett cried out “man” and that he writhed and struggled to get off the gurney after he was supposed to be unconscious. Officials closed the blinds to the viewing gallery after Lockett struggled.
The event lasted at least 43 minutes. Lockett’s cause of death was reported to be a massive heart attack.
This was to have been a double execution, the state’s first since 1937. The execution of the other condemned man, Charles Warner, has been postponed. It is clear that Oklahoma should halt all executions and carry out an independent investigation.
“We know that the death penalty is fraught with risk, error and expense, and it does nothing to protect society from future crime,” said Donna Schneweis, Chair of the Kansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (KCADP). Lethal injection is not an acceptable method for states who still carry out the death penalty as shown in last night’s event and the prolonged and grotesque execution of Ohio convicted killer Dennis McGuire in January. Last night’s execution in Oklahoma, like the one in Ohio in January, undermine public confidence in our criminal justice system.
The solution is to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. The death penalty should not continue.
The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP), The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the National Coalition and many others are calling for change. This shocking event serves as an even greater motivation to abolish the death penalty in Kansas and join 18 other states that have already outlawed this archaic practice.
KCADP would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You! to Tom Goldstein, an Exoneree and Kansas native. Mr. Goldstein partnered with us here in his home state to help fight against House Bill 2389, a bill that advocates speeding up the appeals process in death penalty cases.
Tom Goldstein was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to a term of 27 years to life for a murder he did not commit. His wrongful conviction was based upon systemic flaws in our justice system, the testimony of a drug addicted jail house informant, an eye witness who was coerced by the police, and counsel who failed to adequately investigate his case.
Since his release from prison in 2004 Mr. Goldstein has pursued a civil lawsuit against the City of Long Beach, the detectives assigned to his case, and the County of Los Angeles. During the discovery phase of his suit his attorneys uncovered four other cases of wrongful convictions involving the same detectives. One was the case of Oscar Lee Morris who spent 17 years on death row before being exonerated in 2000.
When called upon to speak Mr. Goldstein jumps at the opportunity and has spoken at various universities, as well as, with many Congress-persons, Senators and Legislators.
“I spent many long, wasted and lonely years in prison. Participating in this process gives meaning and value to these lost years. Through my first hand experiences I can unequivocally state that our justice system is flawed. Sometimes the system gets it wrong and we need the appeals process to work in order to win our freedom. I believe that the shortcuts this bill proposes would not serve the public interest nor make our system more reliable. In fact it would make the execution of an innocent man more likely.” ~ Tom Goldstein
As Senate Substitute for HB 2389 (previously SB 257) moves to the House, it has been referred to a Conference Committee (three members of the House and three members of the Senate.) The Conference Committee will hold an Informational Hearing on March 5th at 1:30 pm, in Room 152 S.
NOW is the time to take action! Please contact each member of the commitee and express your opposition and also contact all members of the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee.
The Conference Committee members are Rep, John Rubin, 785 296-7690; Rep. Ramon Gonzalez,785 296-7500; Rep. Janice Pauls,785 296-7657; Sen. Jeff King, 785-296-7361; Sen. Greg Smith, 785-296-7367; and Sen. David Haley, 785-296-7376.
The Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee members are Rep. John Rubin, 785 296-7690; Rep. Ramon Gonzalez, 785 296-7500; Rep. Janice Pauls, 620-663-8961; Rep. Steven Anthimides, 785-296-3971; Rep. Steven Becker, 785 296-7196; Rep. Rob Bruchman, 785 296-7644; Rep. Larry Campbell, 785 296-7632; Rep. Blaine Finch, 785 296-7655; Rep. Gail Finney, 785 296-7648; Rep. Brett Hildabrand, 785 296-7659; Rep. Russell Jennings, 785 296-7196; Rep. Melanie Meier, 785 296-7650; and Rep. Tom Moxley, 785 296-7689.
Please join us at the hearing and show the Committee that Kansans oppose this bill that rushes the process and increases the chances of executing the innocent.
For more information, don’t hesitate to contact your area coordinator or call the office.
Thank you for your continued support and action!
We have confirmed that the Senate will vote tomorrow, Wednesday, February 12th, on SB257/HB2389!
KCADP staff will hand out stickers so the Senate will be able to see on which side of this issue we stand!
If you have not already contacted your senator, NOW is the perfect time! Find your senator here and urge him or her to oppose this bill!
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow! If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office.