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Glasgow student tackles outlawing the death penalty

From the Glasgow Daily Times‘ “Students tackle hot-button issues“:

GLASGOW — Two local teens were given the opportunity this summer to learn more about national affairs and how they can have an influence on important events.

Glasgow High School senior Meghan McGuirk and sophomore Jared Thompson, along with 22 other Kentucky delegates, attended the YMCA Conference on National Affairs [CONA] at the Blue Ridge Assembly near Ashville, N.C., in early July. The conference was a way to unite some of the best young political minds from across the country with the goal of gaining more political awareness, advocacy and networking, according to a press release.

Before arriving at the conference, delegates prepared proposals of national interest and acted as advocates for their ideas during committee meetings and assembly programs at the event…

Thompson chose the topic of outlawing capital punishment in all 50 states because of the media attention he was seeing on the issue.

“I started hearing about it more and more and then when I had to choose a proposal there was a headline out about a woman, who was actually just executed a couple of days ago in Virginia, and it was just a big human rights issue that I felt needed to be addressed and CONA gave me the platform to do that,” he said.

Thompson argued that capital punishment was not only a human rights issue, but a financial one as well for the U.S.

“I raised the points that it’s actually more expensive to go through the entire court process and execute them than it is to just keep them in prison for life and also through all the appeals — the costs rack up,” he said. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is actually opposed to capital punishment, as is the founding charter of the European Union, so America is actually behind socially as far as that goes.”

Thompson’s proposal was combined with another delegate’s, David Hayes of New Jersey, because similar or identical topics are normally grouped together for the sake of time. Their bill went on to pass in the CONA General Assembly, which was made up of roughly 350 delegates from across the United States.

“My side actually won. The bill passed by 13 votes,” he said.

Smart kids!

Photo: Courtesy YMCA Conference on National Affairs

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