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.

 

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!

 

Sincerely,
Your KCADP Board of Directors

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

 

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Kansans Hear First Hand Testimony of Death Penalty’s Impact

 

 

 

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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.