Category Archives: Updates

A Strong Showing for Repeal!


 Kansans of diverse ages and political beliefs packed the hearing room on Monday Feb. 13th for the testimony offered in support of HB 2167 to repeal the Kansas death penalty.


The testimony, both moral and practical, provided a rich resource for committee members to take into consideration.

  • “…it fails the tests of fiscal conservatism, respect for life and limited government.” (Rep. Bill Sutton, Kansas legislator)
  • “I first thought the death penalty was justice and would help me. I have since learned, however, that the death penalty was only the source of further pain, and that it fails to help murder victims’ families rebuild their lives in the wake of tragedy.” (Celeste Dixon, murder victim family member)
  • “ …the evidence is clear that the death penalty imposes significant costs to state and local budgets not incurred with life in prison without parole.” (Ron Wurtz, attorney)
  • “…As a threat to me during my interrogation one detective said that if the elderly women had died in my case, and Kansas had the death penalty (back in 1982), he would ask for it…
    …I have lived the errors of our justice system. We all know that our system isn’t perfect and has many flaws. Knowing these flaws, I do not believe we should be punishing people with the death penalty.” (Eddie Lowery, exoneree)
  • “… This gift of reconciliation is offered to all individuals without exception and gives all life new dignity and sacredness. For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes.” (Bishop Ruben Saenz, Jr., citing his denomination’s Book of Discipline)

These are just 5 short quotes out of the nearly 30 persons or groups who submitted testimony in support of repeal!


Hearing on Abolition Bill on February 13th!


HB 2167, a bill to abolish the death penalty, will be heard by House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee on Monday, February 13th.


The hearing is open to the public and will start at 1:15 p.m. and be held in Room 582 North.


This bill would abolish the Kansas death penalty for crimes on or after the effective date of the legislation. For the most serious homicides in Kansas, the new maximum sentence would be life in prison without parole.


Remember KCADP on Giving Tuesday!

Dear Friends,

Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving.


Since its founding in 2012, Giving Tuesday is now an international day devoted to celebrating and encouraging giving. In 2015, people from all over the world made online donations to non-profit organizations which amounted to over $116 million raised. Giving Tuesday is a day for everyone, everywhere to GIVE!


Join the movement and support the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty. Help us reach our goal of $1,000 on Giving Tuesday. Click here to make an online donation or send it to KCADP, P.O. Box 2065, Topeka, KS 66601.


We thank you for your support to present, and for your support in the days and weeks ahead because your contributions help create the climate for abolition!


Your KCADP Team



Nominee Slate 2016 KCADP Annual Meeting

On Saturday, Oct. 22nd, at 1 p.m. KCADP will hold its Annual Meeting and Abolition Conference at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Olathe.  During the annual meeting, a nominee slate for officers and directors will be offered for KCADP members’ consideration.


Officer Nominees:

Vice Chair: Ron Wurtz,

Treasurer:  Jeff Wicks.


Director nominees:

Kristi Smith,

Robert Shawn Streepy,

Carolyn Zimmerman,

Celeste Dixon,

Floyd Bledsoe, and

Dianne Schwartz.


Following the annual meeting, the abolition conference will begin immediately.  To see a flyer for the conference, click here.



Register Today for 2016 Annual Abolition Conference!


Let the Candidates Hear from You!

Spread the abolition message!


In these critical weeks when candidates are out and about as they run for the Legislature, it’s a prime opportunity for you, the people in their district, to engage with them about the death penalty.


If you do, you are providing them with vital information so they can be informed on this important public policy!


KCADP doesn’t endorse any candidates or political parties. What we do endorse is continuing the dialogue and education, one Kansan at a time, so that we can bring Kansas into the abolition arena!


What will you do today to help educate a candidate in your area?

To All Our Supporters

Dear Friends,


We are writing because we are at a crossroads.   KCADP is transitioning to an all-volunteer organization as of   May 6th. as the grant funding that provided the resources for paid staff has ended.


KCADP staff will go on to other challenges.  We know they will succeed at those ventures.  They are some of the finest people we have had the privilege of working with.  That goes for all the Board members, our consultants, our members, Abolition Endorsing Groups and other allies, and our funders as well.  KCADP staff have commented how they will never forget their staff colleagues, the members, the exonerees, the legislators and all who have been involved in this effort and will always be grateful for the opportunities and challenges this work has provided.  It has been an honor.


The info email will still be functional and will be answered by a dedicated abolitionist.  To reach someone by phone call 785-235-2237.


For the past 6 years, KCADP has been blessed with the resources for a vigorous abolition campaign.  We have grown the abolition community in Kansas to be a truly diverse group that spans the political spectrum, as well as increasing support in our traditional communities.  That diversity was evident in our late January press conference.


We have defeated legislation that would have dangerously sped up executions in Kansas.  We have brought new legislators into the abolition community.  And, many more Kansans now know why abolition is the answer.


The past two years have been frustrating because despite the efforts of many dedicated legislators and KCADP members and supporters we have not been able to advance abolition as far as we’d hoped.


The KCADP board is committed to achieving abolition in Kansas!  In the year ahead, KCADP will work to grow the “big tent” that has been built so far.  We will work to educate candidates this summer and fall.  We will be seeking abolition again next year in a legislature that will undoubtedly have some new members as well as returning ones.


The courageous, energetic and visionary volunteers who have led KCADP for more than 25 years will continue to press for abolition.   (The staff have talked about how we, like Moses, have been able to see the promised land, but have not able to go there.  It was our fondest wish and we will celebrate when you get there!)


Thank you for all your support for KCADP that you have already shown.  KCADP members have shown time and again their passion and commitment to abolition.  So we ask now that you continue and increase your support of KCADP.  We have no doubt whatsoever that the organization will adapt, grow and prosper in the coming years.


Stay with KCADP as the campaign continues….  “Ad astra per aspera”.  It may be difficult, but we will get the death penalty repealed!


Best always,


Mary Sloan, Executive Director


Donna Schneweis, Board Chair

Call Speaker Ray Merrick Now!

Dear Friend,

In the first week of session, we saw Rep. Steven Becker and 16 other House Members introduce HB 2515, a bill to end the death penalty in Kansas. Last week, we saw those legislators, joined by Floyd Bledsoe and community leaders from across the state hold a press conference calling attention to HB 2515 and showing their support for ending the death penalty THIS YEAR!


This week it’s on us! We have to call Speaker Merrick’s office and strongly request he reassign HB 2515 to a committee that will let it be heard — specifically the Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee. It is important that important public policy issues like the death penalty are fairly debated and discussed by the legislature. Without all of us reaching out and telling Speaker Merrick to do the right thing, we will not see repeal in 2016! Call him today! Call him tomorrow! Call him everyday until he let’s abolition get a fair hearing!


Speaker Ray Merrick Capitol Office – Phone: 785-296-2302; Email: raydotmerrickathousedotksdotgov

Home: 6874 W. 164th Terr., Stilwell, KS 66085 Phone: 913-897-4014; Email:merrickrfatsbcglobaldotnet


Thank you for your support!! Your KCADP Team

Kansas Repeal Bill is HOUSE BILL No. 2515

HOUSE BILL No. 2515 will abolish the death penalty in Kansas and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Please mention the Bill number 2515, when you contact your legislators urging them to vote “Yes” for repeal. Click here to read the bill. Share this information with your friends and spread the word!

Happy Holidays!

Dear Friends,

During this holiday season, we send you this message of thanks and cheer.

Your gifts of your time, your devotion and commitment and your financial support have made a real difference in our push to repeal the death penalty.

As you draw near to friends and family, as you reflect on holidays past and look forward to 2016, remember that your contributions to our work – the hours your have volunteered, the letters your have written, the calls you have made, and the donations your have sent – have all been a blessing to us.

During this holiday season, we send you peace, thanks and best wishes.

Your KCADP Team