Death penalty opponents are welcoming news that capital punishment will be debated today during the Feb. 24-27 gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla.
“A death penalty discussion at CPAC is further evidence that conservatives are increasingly concerned about the failures of capital punishment,” said Demetrius Minor, national manager of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. “Additional proof was on display in Virginia, Colorado, and New Hampshire the past three years, as each state ended the death penalty with the help of conservative Republicans.”
Minor said this would be a first for the influential conservative group.
He noted that Republican-sponsored bills to abolish the death penalty have been introduced in eight states during the current legislative session — Utah, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Washington State.
The Feb. 25 CPAC death penalty debate features two conservative Republican state leaders — Kansas attorney general candidate Tony Mattivi and Utah County, Utah, attorney David Leavitt.
“Conservatives are awakening to the fact that the death penalty does not align with things they care about, such as limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a commitment to life,” Minor said. “I look forward to engaging my fellow conservatives during CPAC, because every year we find more people who let us know that they too feel the death penalty does not align with their conservative values.”
Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is a project of Equal Justice USA, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for changes to the American justice system.
CPAC will draw the nation’s leading political conservatives with a speaker lineup that includes Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.