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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.