Can conservatives justify the death penalty anymore? S.E. Cupp asks 5 questions that all conservatives should consider.
Cupp: I don’t think conservatives can continue to justify capital punishment.
Capital punishment is back in the news thanks to two botched executions in Ohio and Oklahoma, and conservatives who have long supported capital punishment are just now beginning to ask questions like, ‘Is it moral?’ If we are a culture that values life, is that consistent with capital punishment? A lot of people are having problems reconciling that.
They’re asking, ‘Is it just?’ When innocent people are killed under the capital punishment system, and they are in untold numbers. How can we defend that? They’re asking whether capital punishment works.
For a long time people have suggested that it’s an effective deterrent for violent crime and there’s just no evidence of that. And finally they are asking, ‘Can we justify the exorbitant costs of the death penalty system?’ Cases that go to death penalty trials are far more expensive and incarcerating death penalty cases are far more expensive.
So none of the answers to those questions should satisfy good conservatives and I predict over the next couple of months or years even, conservatives might even fully evolve on their position on the death penalty and come to oppose it.
Author, documentary filmmaker, historian, Speaker of the House (1995-1999), and 2012 Republican presidential candidate
Fmr. Obama Deputy Campaign Mgr. and W.H. Sr. Adviser, founder of Precision Strategies, fmr. Sr. Adviser to Maj. Leader Reid and Sen. Kennedy
Conservative columnist for New York Daily News, contributing editor at Townhall Magazine, commentator and author
Former Special Adviser for Green Jobs under President Obama, co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, author and attorney