Ending Capital Punishment: A Conservative Cause
Luke Hill May 25, 2014 - 4:48pm
Leon Neyfakh's article on "The Conservative Case Against the Death Penalty" deserves a wider audience that that of the Boston Globe (or Commonweal for that matter, but we do what we can).
What Neyfakh describes as a "small but expanding group of conservatives" makes their case in conservative terms: the death penalty is a fiscally irresponsible, anti-life, ineffective, big government policy. A number of the conservatives actively opposing the death penalty are Catholics motivated partly or largely by their faith---people like direct mail fundraising pioneer Richard Viguerie, National Review columnist Ramesh Ponnuru, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
They're joined by conservatives of different faiths---such as Sen. John Cornyn (Church of Christ), former Attorney General Ed Meese (Lutherna), and Kentucky State Rep. David Floyd (Southern Baptist)---and of none (e.g., commentator and columnist S. E. Cupp).
Formed at last year's CPAC conference, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty has compiled statements from a wide-ranging and impressive list of conservatives who've come to oppose the death penalty. Even with public support for the death penalty lower than it's been in decades, a majority of Americans polled still support the execution of convicted murders. But if the US is to abolish the death penalty in the next few decades, it will likely be due in no small part to the efforts of conservatives who work to make it happen.
About the Author
Luke Hill is a writer and community organizer in Boston. He blogs at dotCommonweal and MassCommons.