Thursday, August 20, 2015

Oklahoma wants to execute & Connecticut repealed the death penalty with 11 men still on death row

Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is a project of Equal Justice USA.

Oklahoma wants to execute this man despite a total lack of physical evidence by Marc Hyden:
Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty
Rare’s Rebekah Johansen recently covered Richard Glossip’s troubling case in Oklahoma. According to Johansen,
The strange and twisted tale of Richard Glossip is a rundown of some of the worst fears of death penalty opponents. In 1997, Glossip, a motel manager, was arrested for the killing of the motel’s owner, which would go on to be prosecuted as a “murder-for-hire.” Never charged with actually carrying out the killing, Glossip was instead targeted as the mastermind, a charge he has consistently denied.
No tangible evidence exists to link Glossip to the crime, but he was sentenced to death nonetheless. He now sits on death row awaiting his execution date in September. His case is troubling in more than one way, as Johansen points out,
Marc Hyden of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty points to the case as one exemplifying why his fellow conservatives ought to give capital punishment a second look.
“The Glossip case bears many of the hallmarks of the wrongful convictions that plague the death penalty system,” Hyden told Rare, “inept defense attorneys, zero physical evidence, and the reliance on the testimony of a single person.”
Even though Connecticut repealed the death penalty in 2012, 11 men still remained on the state’s death row, awaiting possible execution. The state’s repeal only applied to future cases, but the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled last week that the last remnants of the state’s capital punishment system were unconstitutional. Citing the program’s utter failures, the court removed all men from death row, ending Connecticut’s death penalty for good.

Conservatives Concerned in the media
CCATDP was back in the media this month, shattering the myth that all conservatives support the death penalty, and we were featured in a broad range of publications:
• I was interviewed by the New York Times to provide an update on Nebraska’s capital punishment debate and by the Catholic News Network to discuss conservative support for criminal justice reform. Additionally, I spoke with the American Prospect, which published an article highlighting the conservative case against the death penalty.
• I also explained how conservatism and capital punishment are inconsistent with each other on the "David Pakman Show," and I returned as a guest to Joe Cristiano’s "Liberty Talk Radio" to discuss Oklahoma’s insistence on executing Richard Glossip, despite his strong claims of innocence.
• CCATDP’s Heather Beaudoin explained why conservatives are moving away from the death penalty in a piece by Lancaster Online, and she was interviewed by RYOT to also discuss the disturbing nature of Richard Glossip’s pending execution.
• CCATDP also enjoyed additional mentions in the Daily Beast, Catholic Mobilizing Network, and again in Lancaster Online.
Conservative Conversations
Our series of short videos highlighting conservatives’ views on the death penalty continues this month. The Kentucky State Chair of Young Americans for Liberty, Sebastian Torres, was featured in two videos describing how young conservatives are changing their opinions on capital punishment and why conservatism and the death penalty are inconsistent with each other.

In the field
CCATDP returned for a third year in a row to the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) national conference. We met many supporters who view capital punishment as a dangerous and unnecessary government power. During the convention, CCATDP’s Ben Jones and I hosted a packed workshop to discuss the death penalty’s many shortcomings. One student approached me afterwards to say that he had only attended with the intention of heckling me, but after learning more, he exclaimed, “Now I am 100% with you!”

Following the successful YAL event, CCATDP hosted a Capitol Hill briefing to a standing room-only crowd, where I updated congressional staffers on the state of the death penalty. The room was filled with conservatives and libertarians who oppose capital punishment, but one attendee remained behind to speak with me after the presentation. He explained that he supported the death penalty that morning, but after learning more, he realized that the stronger his pro-life convictions, the less he is able to advocate for capital punishment.

Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty will be on the road again in September. I will travel to Florida for a handful of speaking events, including the St. John’s Young Republican club on September 15 and the Jacksonville Liberty on the Rocks chapter on September 21. Stay tuned, because more events are being added every day.

Get involved
Are you part of a conservative, libertarian, or a pro-life organization and want to get involved? Invite us to speak to your group about the death penalty and explain how to become engaged. Email me here!