January 30th in Kansas is the anniversary of when former Governor Hoch, an ardent opponent to the death penalty, signed abolition legislation. That was in 1907! This January 30th Kansans from all across the state contacted the Governor and their legislators saying that it is time to abolish the death penalty in Kansas for good! If you live in Kansas, send a follow up letter to your state legislators by clicking here.
Even though Kansas once again reinstated the death penalty in 1994, the state has not executed anyone since 1965. There are currently nine men currently serving on death row.
Support for repealing the death penalty is very diverse and growing. More and more conservative voices are making their opposition to the death penalty heard. Law enforcement and others in the criminal justice field are stepping up and speaking out. Joining with community members and parishioners who identify as conservative, conservative Kansans are helping to bring a deeper understanding of how the death penalty is a failed public policy that doesn’t reflect our values.
Launching the post-election push, the Coalition held its 2012 Abolition Conference in November, featuring Dr. Allen Ault, Dean of the College of Justice and Safety at Eastern Kentucky University. Dr. Ault has also served as a Commissioner of state departments of corrections for five governors in three states and as a Warden of a maximum security prison. In his remarks to death penalty repeal advocates in Kansas, Dr. Ault shared:
If you care about human life, it isn’t just the fetus you care about. You care about all human life. [An execution] is the most premeditated murder you have ever seen. We had a book…with all the policies. A lot of people were complicit in it—the governor, the parole boards, the courts. But they call on a very few to commit the actual murder with the sanction of the state. Let me tell you that first one shook me to the core…And after the fifth [execution] I could not do it anymore. I couldn’t rationalize it anymore.
Dr. Ault is not alone in this feeling. People of conscience, regardless of political affiliation, are taking a stand against the barbarous practice of using death as punishment in Kansas and across the country.
Support for repealing the death penalty in Kansas has grown exponentially over the years, and the National Coalition has been working closely with the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP) every step of the way since it was an all-volunteer organization. KCADP has grown steadily as an organization, building resources and capacity, and in 2012 the organization brought on board an experienced fulltime Executive Director, Mary Sloan, and expanded the KCADP team of talented organizers. NCADP continues to dedicate a senior NCADP staff member to work day-to-day with the Kansas team. This fresh energy and experience is now focused on the 2013 legislative session. Combining the new members of the team with the band of volunteer veterans, the push to repeal the death penalty in Kansas is moving forward.
Winning in this conservative Midwestern plains state will send a strong message around the country that the death penalty is a broken and outdated system that we no longer need to keep our communities safe.
- Help make repeal in Kansas a reality by joining the National Coalition, to get involved.
- Kansas residents, send a letter to your state legislators to let them now that you support abolishing the death penalty.
- If you have friends or family in Kansas, ask them to send a letter to their state legislators now!