Earlier this month, 3 men who were originally sentenced to die in Ohio had the charges against them dropped when the sole eyewitness finally admitted (39 years later) that he didn’t witness the crime. The testimony was the only evidence linking the trio to the murder. The men, Ricky Jackson, Wiley Bridgeman, and Kwame Ajamu, spent decades in prison, and Bridgeman even came within 3 weeks of being executed. Now they must begin the process of piecing together their lives. The State of Nevada conducted an audit of their death penalty system, and their findings shouldn’t shock anyone. They discovered that even with limited cost data, they could conservatively estimate that each death case in the Silver State is, on average, more than $500,000 costlier than non-death cases. Some of the biggest death penalty news came out of Texas, where a severely mentally ill man, Scott Panetti, was to be executed this month. Panetti had a long history of schizophrenia over a decade before committing his crime. After he was arrested, he was permitted to represent himself in court where his mental illness was on display. Conservatives and Evangelicals rallied behind this case and asked for clemency. The 5th Circuit Court issued a stay of execution as they investigate the many issues surrounding this case. Conservatives Concerned in the Media CCATDP had more media hits over the past month than we could include in this email, but here are some the highlights: Our comments on the Scott Panetti case were featured in publications including, NBC, Reason, Christianity Today, Huffington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Vice, Mother Jones, MSNBC, Salon, and many, many more. We were also featured in another piece by Reason and in Consider Again outlining the conservative opposition to the death penalty and in an article in the Christian Post describing how much of the political right is embracing criminal justice reform. I was featured on San Antonio’s KTSA radio, Dallas’ KRLD radio, Kickin’ Kountry 106.9 FM, and returned as a guest to the Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine and the Leslie Mahall Show, while CCATDP’s Heather Beaudoin was a guest on Huffington Post Live and Faith as a Second Language. CCATDP’s Ben Jones wrote an op-ed for Young Americans for Liberty describing the Scott Panetti case. The Daily Caller published a piece I wrote which described the founding fathers’ views on capital punishment, and Matt Arbos, friend of CCATDP, penned an op-ed describing why young conservatives are moving against the death penalty. Conservative Conversations Continuing our series of short conservative conversations, we featured Pat Monks and Thomas Gaudet this month. Pat discusses fiscal responsibility and the death penalty while Thomas describes why he opposes capital punishment.
The Death Penalty’s Failure on Full Display
March 12, 2015 By