On July 1st, Kansas began year twenty five of the death penalty law in Kansas. July is also a month ripe with candidate campaigns——campaign events, phone calling, door knocking, mailings, and candidates present at parades and debates.
KCADP has begun its formal candidate education process by reaching out to legislative candidates. We want to make sure they know:
- There are Kansas murder victim families who advocate for alternatives to the death penalty
- In capital cases where the death penalty is sought, defense and district court costs are 3 to 4 times higher than in similar cases where the death penalty isn’t being sought. Prosecutors won’t tell you how much more they spend but they have been before county commissions asking for additional money for capital cases.
- Kansas has serious enough problems with wrongful conviction that Gov. Colyer signed HB 2579. This legislation was passed this spring to compensate people who are innocent and sent to prison.
A number of the candidates have written back in response to our educational piece, including some who are asking for more dialogue. That is exciting and we are following up. There is more work to be done.
Ending the Kansas death penalty takes ALL of us—-board members and KCADP general members alike. Which candidates might benefit from you speaking with them about why you think Kansas should end the death penalty? Could your voice be one that makes a difference in the position of a 2019 session legislator?