Published on: Friday, November 19, 2021

In a deeply conservative Utah county, a Republican prosecutor has announced that he will no longer seek the death penalty in any of his cases, joining a growing movement of conservatives across the country pushing for an end to capital punishment (article available here).

More Republican lawmakers and prosecutors are abandoning one of the party’s long-held policies and champion an end to capital punishment.

Conservative legislators in both Utah and Ohio are sponsoring bills to end the death penalty, and there have been signs of early momentum. Virginia in March became the first Southern state to abolish the death penalty, with three House Republicans joining the Democrats voting in favor. In 2019, New Hampshire repealed the death penalty, with a large share of the GOP caucus voting for repeal, overriding a veto by a Republican governor.

This past week Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, halted the execution of the death-row inmate Julius Jones after there were doubts about the evidence presented at trial and on whether racial bias had played a role in the outcome of the case.