Category Archives: Uncategorized

Abolition Bill Introduced!


KCADP welcomes the introduction of HB 2167 which would repeal the Kansas death penalty and replace it with life in prison without parole for the most serious murders in Kansas.


An eloquent appeal for abolition was just published in the Wichita Eagle by Floyd Bledsoe, who spent over 15 years in Kansas prison even though he was innocent of murder.  You can read that oped by clicking here.


Mr. Bledsoe’s case reminds us of the risk of error in our criminal justice system.  It’s one of the many reasons why Kansas should abolish capital punishment!

A Wish for You

Dear Friends,


As we near the end of 2016, we are mindful of the many ways you have blessed KCADP this past year with
your time, your communications with policy makers, and your donations.    Thank you so much for all you have done!


We extend our best wishes to you for a New Year filled with light, joy, and peace!


Your KCADP Board of Directors

Kansans Hear First Hand Testimony of Death Penalty’s Impact





Celeste Dixon sharing her journey as a murder victim family member who came to oppose the death penalty

“It feels like revenge to me” was how Larned resident Celeste Dixon described her journey with the death penalty system in Texas following the August 18, 1986 murder of her mother Marguerite Dixon. She spoke Saturday at the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty Abolition Conference in Olathe.


Ms. Dixon interacted with Harris County Texas prosecutors and attended the trial. At the time of her mom’s death, she “hadn’t given the death penalty much thought….it seemed to make sense that if you take life you deserve to have your life taken”. After a sentence of death was handed down, she went from feeling “vindicated” to having major doubts about the death penalty. Those doubts turned into opposition to the death penalty as the years passed.


It took 21 years and a retrial before the murderer, Michael Wayne Richard, was executed. Prior to the retrial, Ms. Dixon informed the prosecutor that she did not support the death penalty. The prosecutor’s voice “changed timber” when told that and the once welcoming attitude of the prosecutor’s office was no longer there toward Celeste.


Ms. Dixon traveled the full journey of a death penalty case from trial through to execution.  She summed it up this way “”It’s represented as justice, but it feels like revenge to me.”


Participants at the conference also heard from Pastor Darryl Burton, who was wrongfully imprisoned for capital murder for twenty four years in Missouri despite being innocent. A key witness in his case admitted 5 months after the trial to lying, but it took Burton 24 years to be freed.


Roger Werholtz, former Ks Secretary of Corrections, spoke on public safety aspects, and Al Terwelp of Overbook documented the increase in property taxes when his county had a death penalty case.


Mr. Werholtz shared his misgivings about the death penalty and the risk for error. He also noted his experience while in Colorado with the extra cost associated with death penalty cases.  “You can’t afford to continue going down this same road” he said advocating for an end to the death penalty.

Join us in Lawrence May 21 to hear from Kansas exoneree Floyd Bledsoe!


Click on the image to download the flyer. All are welcome! We hope to see you there!

5.21.16 St John Bledsoe Event

2015 Annual Conference



2015 Conf and C4C Invitation website

Congratulations to Nebraskans!

It’s final!  On Wednesday May 27th, by a vote of 30-19, the Nebraska legislature has voted to override the Governor’s veto and abolish the death penalty in Nebraska.  With this vote, Nebraska has become the first conservative state since North Dakota (1973) to abolish the death penalty and becomes the 7th state to abolish the death penalty in the past 8 years.


Kansas still has the chance this year to join Nebraska on the right side of history.  Reach out to your legislators today and let them know that you want Kansas to join Nebraska in ending the death penalty.  You can easily find your legislators’ information by clicking here.  And know this, even if we do not succeed in our efforts this year, we will never give up. We have the support of many Representatives and Senators in our great state and we will continue to work with them, continue to work to gain new allies, and continue our fight until Kansas does the right thing. Together we will end the death penalty!
Best regards,

Mary Sloan

New Resource Featuring the Voices of Kansas Murder Victims’ Families


Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation has partnered with KCADP on putting together a new resource sharing the personal stories of Kansas murder victims’ families and some of their concerns about the death penalty. In this booklet, murder victims’ families from across the state of Kansas share their own experiences of losing a loved one to murder and the ways that the death penalty fails as a response to such tragedy. Below is a link to this powerful resource.

Kansas Victims Voices Booklet


Radio Discussion on “Ending the Death Penalty in Kansas”

Archbishop joseph Naumann, Former Rep. Anthony Brown and Mary Sloan,Executive director of KCADP discussed “Ending the Death Penalty in Kansas” Click here to listen to the podcast.


Thank You!


We would like to thank all who participated in our Conservative Press Conference on Tuesday, March 17, 2015. We thank the speakers, the audience, and everyone who helped make the press conference a success.   Repealing death penalty is truly a non-partisan issue.  People of diverse political beliefs have all been raising their voices against the death penalty.


At our Faith Leaders press conference in February, religious leaders from several faith traditions called on us to do the morally right thing by repealing the death penalty.   As one of our conservative speakers, Jill Craven, said “We, as Kansans, have always been on the forefront of being bold in doing what is right. We would like to see the same boldness applied to this issue.”


Please continue spreading the facts about the death penalty and urging your elected officials to do the right thing by voting “Yes” for our repeal bill this legislative session.


Here are the links to different media coverage of the Conservative Press Conference:

The Topeka Capitol Journal

National Catholic Reporter

The Garden City Telegram

The Kansan

Voices of Liberty in Wichita

The Ottawa Herald

The Gospel Herald Society
Voices of Liberty
Tiger Media Network, Fort Hays State University


Conservatives Concerned_Logo



As conservative and Republican leaders in Kansas, we come from a variety of perspectives and affiliations, but our core principles – limited government, fiscal responsibility, the right to life and liberty – unite us in our shared concerns about the death penalty. Rather than make us safer, capital punishment has proven to be a costly government program prone to error and abuse. In light of its track record, the prudent move for our state would be to repeal the death penalty and replace it with the severe alternative of life in prison without any possibility of parole.

There has been a dramatic shift among conservatives in understanding criminal justice policy, as many today question some of the costly and ineffective policies enacted in the 1980s and 1990s. Our concerns about the death penalty fit directly into this broader trend in the conservative world of taking a hard look at failed criminal justice policies.

More than ever, conservatives recognize that criminal justice policy must hold individuals accountable, protect the innocent, be responsive to victims’ needs, spend taxpayer dollars responsibly, and be effective in reducing crime. We cannot turn a blind eye as the death penalty consistently falls short of these goals.

Since 1973, more than 140 individuals in the US have been sentenced to death before new evidence showed that they were wrongfully convicted and exonerated them. Other executions have gone forward despite compelling evidence that the condemned may have been innocent. It is difficult to imagine a greater abuse of government power than it executing one of its own citizens who is innocent. It also is difficult to reconcile a policy that poses such risks with a culture that truly values life.

This risky policy has not made Americans safer. There continues to be no evidence that the death penalty reduces crime, as murder rates in states without the death penalty are lower than states with it. Taxpayers ultimately bear the burden for this ineffective policy. In Kansas, capital cases are 3-4 times more costly than similar cases in which the death penalty is not sought.

The death penalty’s potential impact on murder victims’ families also raises concerns. As a result of past mistakes and wrongful convictions, capital cases today involve lengthy trials and appeals. Rather than address the needs of murder victims’ families, the death penalty can inflict additional harm on them by keeping them embroiled in the legal process for years or decades.

There are compelling reasons for conservatives and Republicans to be concerned about the death penalty. Our individual motivations for speaking out on this issue may differ, but we agree on one thing: the death penalty today is a broken and ineffective government program. The time has come for Kansas to address these problems by repealing the death penalty.


Note: Organizational titles are listed for identification purposes only and do not signify an organizational endorsement


Isaac Bahney, Outreach Director of the KU College Republicans (Lawrence)

Jennifer Baysinger, Treasurer of Sedgwick County Republican Party (Wichita)

Steven Becker, Kansas State Representative (Buhler)

Chase Blasi, Treasurer of the Kansas Young Republicans and Wichita Metro Regional Vice-Chair of the Kansas College Republicans (Colwich)

Anthony Brown, Former Kansas State Representative (Eudora)

Jason Bugner, Treasurer of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Kansas (Wichita)

Jill Craven, Secretary of the Fourth District of the Kansas Republican Party (Wichita)

J. Basil Dannebohm, Former Kansas State Representative (Ellinwood)

Owen Donohoe, Former Kansas State Representative (Shawnee)

John Ewy, Kansas State Representative (Jetmore)

Courtney Holbrook, President of the Newman University Jets for Life (Wichita)

Trey Joy, Former Mayor and Kansas and National Committeeman of the Kansas Young Republicans (Smith Center)

Brandon Lemmons, Vice-Chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Kansas (Wichita)

Meagan Maher, Vice-Chairwoman of Leavenworth County Republican Party (Basehor)

Edward O’Brien, Vice-Chair of the Second District of the Kansas Republican Party (Tonganoxie)

Laura Peredo, President of Ravens Respect Life (Atchison)

Stanton Skerjanec, Chair of the Benedictine College Republicans and Parliamentarian of the Kansas College Republicans (Atchison)

William Sutton, Kansas State Representative (Gardner)

Dave Thomas, Chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Kansas (Wichita)

Bob Weeks, Founder of the Voice for Liberty (Wichita)

Kylie Werth, Vice-Chairwoman of the Newman University College Republicans (Wichita)

Wesley Williams, Chairman of the Newman University College Republicans (Wichita)