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.
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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:
CONSERVATIVES AND REPUBLICANS CALL FOR REPEAL OF KANSAS DEATH PENALTY
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)
Abolition Bill – HB 2129
(For more information contact: Mary Sloan, Executive Director)
On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, HB 2129 to repeal the death penalty and replace it with life without parole was introduced by Representative Steven Becker of Buhler. Since then, we have had a Lobby Day (thanks to all who were able to come and make this day such a success!) and the Faith Leaders’ Press Conference. Those events have made a difference and raised awareness and gained wide media coverage.
Now our task is to keep up the call for repeal. Please continue to contact your legislators and ask them to support HB 2129! It’s important for legislators to hear from you. The bill is in the House Judiciary Committee awaiting a hearing. The committee is chaired by Rep. John Barker. His email address is johnbarkerhouseksgov.
Call, write or email your legislators and Chairman Barker today and tell them you support ending the Kansas death penalty! Keep reminding them that death penalty cases cost three to four times more than non-death penalty cases. The high cost of the death penalty diverts important financial resources from other uses.
To confirm your legislators’ contact information, just visit www.openstates.org. Type in your address to see contact information for your Senator and Representative.
If you have questions, need assistance, or want to share your legislator’s response, please contact KCADP at 785-235-2237 or infoksabolitionorg.