The Courier-Journal published the work of four columnists and a timeline of recent Kentucky history and the death penalty on Sunday November 8 in its Forum section. The columnists comprised a group of “unusual” suspects, not the kind of folks associated with opposition to the death penalty: a former executioner and dean at a university, a victim family member whose brother was murdered, a Republican, Southern Baptist state representative and a former staff member of the National Rifle Association.
Marc Hyden once worked for the National Rifle Association but now travels the country – several times to Kentucky – proclaiming the good news of conservative values and how true believers should be rejecting the death penalty. For this series in the Courier-Journal he writes:
Capital punishment’s reality really is offensive, especially to conservatives who value life, fiscal responsibility and limited government.
For pro-life conservatives who subscribe to the notion that the government shouldn’t wrongly execute Americans and innocent lives should be safeguarded, the death penalty has become an untenable program.
As a result of his work and that of some Kentuckians interested in seeing the death penalty abolished, a group of northern Kentuckians has invited Marc here to help organize around these conservative values. You can find their Northern Kentucky Concerned About The Death Penalty Facebook page by clicking on the link.
As the National Advocacy Coordinator for Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, Marc recognizes that
Capital cases are complex and protracted, generating an abundance of media attention, which forces victims’ friends and family members to relive the worst chapters of their lives publicly and repeatedly. The additional trauma often inflicted in death penalty cases could be easily avoided by seeking life without the chance of release. Murder victims’ families deserve better than this, and for this reason, many have concluded that capital punishment is a complete failure.
He’s not the only conservative with these views and closes his article by reminding readers of some others:
The death penalty is quite clearly broken beyond repair, but capital punishment’s alternatives are safer, cheaper and more effective. More conservatives are recognizing this point. Political and thought leaders including Jay Sekulow, Dr. Ron Paul, Colonel Oliver North and Michael Steele have joined the growing number of conservatives who believe that the death penalty is neither useful nor necessary, and many have determined that capital punishment is simply dangerous in the hands of our error-prone government.
You can read his whole article by clicking here.