Left to right: Demetrius Minor, Dalton Glasscock, Michael Birzer
Saturday November 11th, KCADP members gathered in person and online to hear strong statements in support of ending Kansas’ death penalty.
Dalton Glasscock, newly elected Wichita City Council member for Southwest Wichita, spoke of his own change of heart on the issue years ago when other conservatives challenged him to learn about capital punishment. As he learned more, he grappled with the reality that the death penalty did not align with a culture of life nor was it fiscally conservative or responsible. Mr. Glasscock was part of a group of conservatives who succeeded in getting the Kansas Republican Party to take the pro death penalty stance out of its platform in 2014. (Efforts to put support for capital punishment back in the platform since then have failed.)
WSU Professor Michael Birzer addressed the question of deterrence and noted that studies time and again do not show a deterrent effect. He also noted the intersection of capital punishment and racial disparity in many different categories. In one example, the top five states in terms of persons under a death sentence are California, Texas, Alabama, Florida and North Carolina. Sixty percent of the death row inmates in these five states are people of color. Forty percent of the death sentenced in those states are African American.
Demetrius Minor, National Manager for Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty identified several reasons why conservatives support ending the death penalty. He noted the excessive cost of capital punishment saying “It is not a fiscally responsible entity which violates one of the main pillars of conservatism.” Mr. Minor noted the fact that the death penalty is not in alignment with public safety given its lack of deterrence. He also noted how government time and again makes mistakes “…why would I trust the government with a matter of life and death?”
The conference video is available on KCADP’s Facebook page.