Minor: Abortion Foes Should Be on Path to Death Penalty Repeal

Minor: Abortion Foes Should Be on Path to Death Penalty Repeal death row electric chair (Ilkin Guliyev/Dreamstime.com)

By Demetrius Minor | Thursday, 21 April 2022 09:56 AM

This writer has always considered himself to be anti-abortion.

It's not just a tenet of my political ideology but a cornerstone of my faith identity.

As someone who grew up in the home of a preacher, I understood that abortion was scripturally and morally wrong. The revelation that I was adopted only amplified this stance.

Prior to this, I was just simply a conservative who argued about abortion being a moral stain on American culture, but this revelation sparked a fire in me, because I quickly realized I could’ve been a statistic.

My birth mother had five children with five different fathers. The odds were not in my favor. Being against abortion isn’t political for me. It's personal.

Around 2006, my stance against abortion "credentials" were called into question.

I was in what I thought was a casual conversation with my pastor when he challenged me.

He said it’s difficult to claim to be against abortion and yet support the death penalty.

My pastor back then, like me, was a conservative.

His statement challenged me to think through what was a superficial anti-abortion stance that resonated with those opposing Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

Rather, I could actually be a voice for the totality of life and against the forces of evil and injustice that serve as enemies to it.

If I were to be opposed to abortion, it would have to be from the womb to the tomb.

I would be so for the lives of the innocent and also for the lives of those who lived drastically different lives than mine.

Like many conservatives, my support for the death penalty was a default position. But the question rang in my mind: How can I be anti-abortion and be pro-death penalty?

What began as an overwhelming moral sense that the death penalty was wrong led me to learn more about the issue. I soon found that opposing the death penalty is indeed the best way to uphold my conservative values.

The death penalty violates conservative principles when it comes to fiscal responsibility.

It's costly and ineffective.

The money spent on the death penalty would be better used for training and resources for law enforcement, services for victims families, mental health services, and violence prevention initiatives.

The death penalty has claimed the lives of innocent people.

DNA evidence has led to hundreds of exonerations, but this isn’t always an available asset.

When we get it wrong once, it's one time too many.

The death penalty has failed victims’ families. It only serves as a harbinger for anguish, pain, and trauma. The process causes families to face uncertainty while years of litigation and appeals take place.

The death penalty fails to keep us safe.

It concentrates massive amounts of resources on just a handful of executions while countless of cases remain unsolved. This is a reason why many police chiefs rank the death penalty last among public safety tools that are effective in neighborhoods and communities.

I’m not alone in this. Since I came on board with Conservatives Concerned About The Death Penalty in August 2021, I’ve witnessed the paradigm shift in the conservative movement when it comes to death as a sentence.

For decades, there has been a welcoming trend: many on the right are opposing the death penalty because of its failure to align itself with conservative values such as limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a commitment to life.

Now, momentum is building nationwide.

It doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

The message of death penalty repeal has been featured heavily in one of the most prominent political bellwether states: Ohio.

HB 183, the bill to end the death penalty in The Buckeye State, recently had a fifth hearing in the House Criminal Justice Committee.

This hearing marked the furthest any repeal bill has gone in the Ohio General Assembly.

Virginia, which recently went back into the "red column" following the election of Gov. Glenn Youngkin, R-Va., repealed the death penalty last spring, becoming the first former Confederate state to do so.

Look no further than this year’s influential Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in Orlando, Florida in February of this year, as proof that the appetite for ending death penalty is indeed growing.

For the first time, the event’s organizer’s featured a debate around the death penalty.

During the session, Utah County Attorney David Leavitt (based in Provo) admirably argued for the end of the death penalty, skillfully conveying the astronomical cost and the fact that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime.

"One exoneration may be one too many," he said, reminding us of the prevalent risk of executing an innocent person. The truth is, he said, "the morality of the death penalty is simply not having it at all."

It’s really not uncommon at all to see more conservatives become opposed to the death penalty. As more become aware of the way it fails society, I expect the voices for repeal to ring even louder.

A prior story regarding Demetrius Minor and the subject of the death penalty may be found here.

Demetrius Minor is the national manager of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty. He is a preacher, advocate, relationship builder, and a writer working to educate and mobilize conservatives around the systematic flaws with the death penalty.

Original Article