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Thread: Some conservatives in Georgia are fighting to abolish the death penalty

  1. #1

    Default Some conservatives in Georgia are fighting to abolish the death penalty

    With a Georgia lawmaker leading the way, a coalition of conservatives against the death penalty began to make waves last week.

    Georgia Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty formally announced its formation on Jan. 19. Made up of Republican lawmakers, a college student and nonprofit leaders, the group is quite diverse, but its mission is simple: To educate people on capital punishment and eradicate it.

    “I am skeptical of our government’s ability to implement efficient and effective programs, and so a healthy skepticism of our state’s death penalty is warranted, “ state Rep. Brett Harrell (R) said in a statement. “Many individuals have been wrongly convicted and sentenced to die. Meanwhile, taxpayers are forced to pay for this risky government program, even though it costs more than life without parole.”

    Marc Hyden, the national coordinator of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty told TheBlaze that the first step would be for the state legislature to “re-evaluate” the death penalty and “have a candid discussion about [it], educate themselves, find out what it does in practice rather than in theory.”

    “Right now it would be imprudent to bring a repeal bill,” he said. “Once there’s this education process, then we can move on to the next step.”

    But while his organization fights to get Georgia lawmakers to re-examine the policy, the fight among conservatives regarding the issue wages on. And the number of Americans in favor of capital punishment is dwindling.

    A September Pew Research poll found that only about 49 percent of Americans favor the death penalty for someone who was convicted of murder — the lowest that number has been in more than four decades. Republicans, the poll found, still greatly favor the practice more than Democrats, 72 percent to 34 percent respectively.

    The number of Republicans who favor the death penalty has declined since 20 years ago when 87 percent viewed the practice positively. However, it’s the Democrats who have greatly lost support for the death penalty over the years as 71 percent supported it 20 years ago, the poll found.

    For Hyden, there are multiple reasons why conservatives should be in ardent opposition to the death penalty — chief among them, fiscal responsibility and a true pro-life mentality.

    As anti-abortion people refer to themselves pro-life, Hyden argued that protecting an “innocent child” should extend outside the womb as innocent people can be wrongly convicted and end up on death row.

    “If you want to be able to execute the worst of the worst, the most heinous of killers, then you have to have a government program in place, and the breadth of that program means that accidents will happen and innocent people will fall through the cracks,” Hyden said. “It’s a matter of collateral damage. And a person who is pro-life should safeguard innocent life.”

    “How many innocent people are you willing to kill in order to kill some of the most heinous killers? That’s a tough question to answer, and I’m not comfortable with executing any innocent people,” he added.

    ...
    http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/01...-death-penalty
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.



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    I applaud this because in my opinion it is not up to the government to determine who lives and who dies. Changing the culture is step one.
    "I am a bird"

  4. #3

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    Georgia’s death penalty violates conservative values
    The timing is perfect for Georgians to start a conversation about the death penalty. Our state led the nation in executions last year with nine, but we have not had a single death sentence in nearly three years. At the same time, Governor Deal has put Georgia at the forefront of criminal justice reform. I believe that now is the time to talk about reforming, and eventually abolishing, Georgia’s death penalty.

    I am not the only conservative that thinks we need to reexamine the death penalty. On January 19, I was one of several people who took part in a news conference at the state capitol to officially launch the new group Georgia Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. As a young conservative, I was honored to stand with such a diverse group of accomplished people that included a Republican State Representative, leaders from the pro-life movement, a Libertarian think tank leader, and a former Republican Party official, among others. Our goal was to start a conversation, to search for common ground, and be a catalyst for lawmakers to begin examining the many failures of the death penalty.

    As a conservative, I look skeptically upon the state’s ability to carry out death sentences effectively. Conservatives correctly highlight the inefficiencies that exist at all levels of government. We cannot trust this same flawed government with carrying out the most serious of sentences. Since capital punishment was reinstituted in Georgia four decades ago, six people have been exonerated, found to be wrongly convicted, and released from death row. Taking innocent lives violates everything that I believe. We cannot reverse an execution.

    I am a proponent of evidence-based problem solving. The evidence shows the death penalty does not make us any safer, is more expensive than life without parole, and is not a deterrent to crime. As a conservative, that bothers me. As a matter of principle, I believe in limited government that uses taxpayer dollars effectively while producing positive results for our state. The death penalty does not help us reach any of those goals.

    It is wrong to have people sitting on death row for 20, 30, or more years before anything happens. However, we can’t speed up the process without the danger of even more mistakes and risking innocent lives. Plus, in some cases, people have found redemption and have turned their lives around in prison, helping other inmates and inspiring others. So, the possibility of finding redemption is there, and as a Christian, I do not believe we should interfere with God’s plans.

    Make no mistake about it; conservative values — from faith to fiscal responsibility – have been helping to fuel the trend away from capital punishment in Georgia. Now that we have started the conversation at the state legislature and gone public with our conservative-based concerns about the death penalty, I believe our efforts to fix a broken system will gain even more traction. We may not have everyone on our side yet, but every day more Georgians are coming to the realization that the death penalty does not work.
    Read more at http://redalertpolitics.com/2017/04/...WEy4vllThjY.99
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.






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