Many Kansans used to think that a politician’s stance on abolition could be predicted by what party he or she was representing. The 2010 Senate vote showed the fallacy of that belief. Twelve Republicans and eight Democrats supported abolition, and nineteen Republicans and one Democrat opposed it. The most recent abolition bill, HB 2167, introduced in 2017, continued the non-partisan tradition with eight Republicans and seven Democrats sponsoring.
We saw further evidence of this non-partisan reality this spring when KCADP was invited to speak at the Libertarian Party of Kansas state convention. On April 21st, Ron Wurtz spoke with conference participants about death penalty abolition. The Libertarians have death penalty abolition as part of their platform, and they became an abolition endorsing group here in Kansas several years ago.
The rise of support by conservatives in Kansas and elsewhere for death penalty abolition has been seen in our own work as well as the formation of the national group Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. Click here to learn more about why conservatives are supporting abolition.
Death penalty abolition is not a one party position. So, as candidates travel through the state, please engage with them about why you support ending the death penalty. Your earnest conversation with them about why abolition makes sense could be the spark they need to either further solidify their own support for abolition OR the spark needed to get them to consider supporting abolition!