Marc Hyden spoke to a full room of students on why conservatives should oppose the death penalty Tuesday in Lane Hall.
Breana Noble | Collegian
Marc Hyden gave a speech on how conservatism should view the death penalty in a presentation Tuesday sponsored by the Hillsdale Young Americans for Freedom. Hyden is the national advocacy coordinator for Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty
Talking to a full room, Hyden said earlier in his life, he supported capital punishment “almost with a zeal.” As he discovered more about the system, however, the less he could defend the death penalty.
He shared the stories of several people who were wrongly convicted, either because of prosecutorial misconduct, faulty forensics, or other procedural errors. Some eventually were released, while others were executed.
“I had a hard time justifying this program,” he said in light of these cases.
He also said the death penalty has a greater monetary cost and limits the possibility of redemption. Hyden cited studies arguing the death penalty does nothing to actually deter crime.
“There is zero-causal relationship between execution and murder rates,” he said.
Nineteen states, including Michigan, have repealed the death penalty, and support for capital punishment is at its lowest point in 40 years, according to Hyden.
“The world is changing,” Hyden said, “The death penalty is slowly dying whether we like it or not.”
With the number of mistakes made, Hyden questioned if the citizens can trust the government, prone to flawed systems.
“There’s no greater power than the power to take a life,” Hyden said. “When you have a program designed to kill guilty U.S. citizens, it has to be perfect.”
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