WICHITA, Kansas – Kansas College Republicans say their conservative and religious views led to their decision to officially oppose the death penalty.
“It actually is against my religion,” said Paige Hungate, a WSU sophomore and chairwoman of the WSU Republicans. “I believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death and I don’t think there should be any deviation between those two.”
“We wanted to be truly, 100% pro-life. If one innocent person is put to death than it’s not worth the policy,” said State Chair for the Kansas Federation of College Republicans Dalton Glasscock, a Junior at WSU. He says the overall cost as well as a distrust of government also went into the decision.
By passing a resolution in support of repealing the death penalty KSFCR hopes to change the mindset of their party and ultimately get rid of the death penalty in Kansas.
“Let people know there is a change and shift and its okay to differ on some issues and that’s how you actually make real changes in the party,” Glasscock said.
Right now the Kansas Republican Party isn’t taking a side on the controversial issue.
“We are neutral we’re not technically for or technically against because many of our members have such passion on this issue,” said Kansas Republican Party Chair Kelly Arnold.
Arnold said a move by the college Republicans could certainly get the party talking by the time they vote on their official platform in 2017.
“I fully expect this to be a hot issue at that meeting. It could sway some votes,” he said.
“I think we have a lot of good talking points on it,” said Hungate.
“It’s okay to challenge what you’ve always believed and come up with different opinions, different ideas and really debate those ideas back and forth,” Glasscock said. He says he has already gotten positive feedback from some Republican leaders.
The death penalty has been banned several times in Kansas, but was re-instated in 1994. However, no one has been executed in Kansas since 1965.