(WICHITA, Kan.) — The United Methodist Women from College Hill United Methodist Church would like to see the death penalty abolished in Kansas. The group held a meeting this week to start a conversation about the issue.
Last year, the Kansas House of Representatives introduced House Bill 2323. The bill would replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole for those convicted of aggravated murder. The legislation failed and this group wants lawmakers to reconsider the bill.
Kansas is one of 34 states with the death penalty. The College Hill group says there are documented problems with the death penalty, including judicial error and cost. They say since Kansas already has an alternative sentence, life in prison without the possibility of parole the death penalty isn't needed. The group says by keeping violent offenders in prison, Kansans can be kept safe.
The state has not executed anyone since 1965, although the death penalty was re-instated in Kansas in 1994. There are now ten men sentenced to death currently incarcerated in El Dorado prison. Two other men were originally sentenced to death, but their sentences were later changed to life in prison.