Press release from Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty; March 4, 2015:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 4, 2015) – Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (TADP), a statewide coalition working to eliminate the use of capital punishment, is helping establish a conservative group also opposed to the death penalty.
TADP is working with Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a national network of political and social conservatives questioning the alignment of capital punishment with conservative principles and values, to launch a Tennessee chapter of the organization.
“The conversation about the death penalty is changing,” said the Rev. Stacy Rector, executive director of TADP. “It is no longer a ‘liberals versus conservatives’ issue. The system is flawed, and people from all sides of the political spectrum are recognizing those flaws.”
The main focus of Tennessee Conservatives Concerned is to re-evaluate the current capital punishment system, which the group says is marked by “inefficiency, inequity and inaccuracy.”
One of the chapter’s biggest concerns is cost. According to the Fiscal Year report for 2013–14, the average cost per day to house a Tennessee Department of Corrections offender was $74.19. The cost to house a death row offender was $117.59. There are currently 69 people on Tennessee’s death row. If the state had no death row, it would save $1,000,000 annually in prison costs alone.
“Tennessee is spending too much money on a flawed system,” said Logan Threadgill, Tennessee Conservatives Concerned coordinator. “Year after year, our state struggles to balance its budget while it funds a wasteful and bloated system that fails to provide any benefit. Repealing the death penalty would benefit every taxpayer in Tennessee.”
Other concerns include the possibility of executing innocent people, lack of closure for victims’ families, and contradicting small-government and pro-life values.
“The core of conservative principles focuses on the need for a more limited government,” said Kenny Collins, Tennessee Conservatives Concerned coordinator and Tennessee state chairman for Young Americans for Liberty. “Giving the state the power to decide which of its citizens lives or dies – and to potentially kill an innocent person in the process – does not align with that principle in any way.”
Tennessee Conservatives Concerned joins more than 10 other state chapters in the national organization’s efforts to bring its issues with capital punishment to light.
For more information and to sign up for occasional updates from the group, visit www.tnccatdp.org.