By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (CCATDP), a national network of conservatives and libertarians questioning the alignment of capital punishment with their principles, will be participating in a panel discussion at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond on Friday, November 6.
The event will take place in the Mary Fallin Room at the Nigh University Center, Room 304, from 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The 2015 Oklahoma Political Science Association Annual (OPSA) Conference will host the panel discussion titled, “Capital Punishment in Oklahoma and Beyond.”
Featured member of the panel, Marc Hyden, national coordinator of CCATDP, will explain why conservatives are increasingly opposing the death penalty.
“Conservatives want to limit the power of government, including the death penalty, which is a broken government program that has the real potential of killing innocent Americans,” said Hyden.
Hyden served as the Campaign Field Representative with the National Rifle Association in Florida. Prior to working with the NRA, he managed conservative political campaigns and served as the Legislative Liaison/Public Affairs Specialist for the State of Georgia and as the Legislative Aide to the Georgia Senate President Pro Tempore.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, to date, 156 people have been exonerated from death rows across America because of wrongful convictions.
Presenters in addition to Hyden will include Bill Shapard, Ph.D., Founding Director of the Oklahoma Sooner Poll; Sam Jennings and Susan Bishop, Board Members of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; and A. J. Bailey, Founder of Conservatives and Progressives United to Abolish the Death Penalty.
The panel discussion will be chaired by Elizabeth S. Overman, Ph.D., an Associate Professor University of Central Oklahoma, Department of Political Science.
Following the panel, a luncheon will feature reporters from online news source The Frontier, Ziva Branstetter and Cary Aspinwall. They are Pulitzer Prize finalists for their reporting at the Tulsa World on the botched execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett last April. Anyone can attend the luncheon, which costs $10.
Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is a network of political and social conservatives who question the alignment of capital punishment with conservative principles and values.
The organization questions a system that they believe to be marked by inefficiency, inequity, and inaccuracy. CCADTP traces its roots to Montana, where conservative Montana lawmakers and Republican Party officials came together to call for an end to capital punishment, citing exorbitant costs.
CCADTP is a project of Equal Justice USA (EJUSA), a national, grassroots organization whose goal is to build a criminal justice system that works for everyone.
For more information regarding the UCO event, contact Jon Crane at 203-982-4575 or email [email protected].