Conservatives Evolving on Criminal Justice and the Death Penalty

Today, the Bell Towers published a piece I wrote. In an time when the GOP establishment and the Tea Party are feuding and, sometimes, splitting the political right, the desire to reform the broken criminal justice system and repeal the death penalty has the potential to unite many conservatives and create unlikely alliances. I said, Conservatives are increasingly becoming bridge builders by supporting criminal justice reforms that would have been improbable a generation ago. From over-criminalization and the war on drugs to prison over-crowding and juvenile justice, conservatives are now rethinking long held positions that have led to a wasteful, massive prison build up across the country. Not surprisingly, we are doing it by applying traditional conservative principles such as individual liberty, fiscal responsibility, and respect for innocent life. and went on to say, Perhaps more than anything else, conservatives share a deep and abiding mistrust of government. Conservatives have always believed that justice must be blind and that the law must be applied fairly. This is where the conservative re-examination of the criminal justice system and capital punishment connects us across constituencies. Polls consistently show that people of color do not trust the justice system. This is an issue where there is common ground with conservatives, an issue around which we can genuinely collaborate and reach beyond outdated stereotypes.

Source: Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty