Opposition to the death penalty continues to attract people from throughout the political spectrum, not just liberals, but conservatives and libertarians too. From the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s Conservatives, Libertarians Call for End to Capital Punishment in Virginia, New Hampshire, and Other States:
More political and religious conservatives are taking a public stand against capital punishment. Kathleen M. Garcia is a conservative victims’ advocate who supports the idea of capital punishment. However, Garcia, who served on the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission, notes the work of a similar commission currently underway in New Hampshire – and urges the state to rid itself of a punishment that does more harm than good to murder victims’ families.
And the libertarian magazine Reason is questioning the efficacy of capital punishment and the nation’s entire criminal justice system. Senior Editor Radley Balko cites the growing number of exonerated prisoners freed by DNA evidence, including many on death row. He writes that the high number of prison exonerations “aren’t proof that the system is working. They’re a wake-up call that it isn’t.”
This follows an essay from John Whitehead, a renowned conservative who is the founder and president of the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit organization established to safeguard Americans’ constitutional rights and religious freedoms, who said in February that Virginia should end the death penalty.