NEW VOICES: Conservative Leader Says Its Time to Rethink the Death Penalty

Richard Viguerie has been called the “funding father of the conservative movement,” and has helped start such initiatives as the Conservative Digest and the Moral Majority. He was recently interviewed in Sojourners Magazine, where he spoke about his faith-based opposition to capital punishment. He said the issue of innocence was a key problem: “I’ve become aware that throughout history, many innocent people have been convicted of crimes and executed. There are few things more horrendous than that, taking an innocent life by the power of government. The state is all-powerful in these matters, and it’s a very terrifying thing. People do make mistakes.” He urged conservatives to take leadership on challenging the death penalty: “I think that a lot of the leadership … will probably need to come from the conservatives. We need to make it acceptable to discuss this in the public square. Once conservatives provide that cover for this issue to be an acceptable issue to discuss, debate, and legislate on, I think things can move forward.”

(“Who Would Jesus Execute,” Sojourners (interview with Jim Wallis, editor), January 2013, DPIC posted Jan. 21, 2013). See New Voices.