College Republicans take stand against the death penalty

Sep 02, 2015

Newman senior Wesley Williams understands that in politics, his voice counts.

Williams, chairman of the Newman University College Republicans, has been using that voice to take a stand against the death penalty in Kansas.

As one of the founders of the Newman University chapter of College Republicans in May 2014, Williams has been looking for ways to make a difference with the club. This opportunity came to him at a statewide convention the College Republicans hold every year.

“There was a speaker there from Kansans for Life who brought up the issue of capital punishment,” Williams said. “They raised valid points and made us realize we can’t just focus on the importance of the life of a fetus, but rather on the importance of all life.”

Williams said the chairman of the Benedictine chapter of College Republicans approached him soon after the convention about getting something in motion to fight the death penalty.

Discussion within the organization began in April 2015 about taking a position regarding capital punishment, and by the end of May 2015 a resolution had passed that solidified the Kansas College Republicans’ stance against the death penalty, Williams said.

Williams and the organization are currently drafting a letter that will be sent to Kansas House of Representatives Speaker Ray Merrick and Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle.

“This letter will state the College Republicans’ opposition to the death penalty,” Williams said. “It will urge them to push through legislation that would end the death penalty in Kansas. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Aside from the work Williams is doing with the College Republicans organization, he has also appeared on local radio station KQAM 1480 to discuss his feelings on the death penalty. Listen to the interview here.

Williams said it didn’t settle well with him that Republicans were considered champions of life when it’s in its earliest stages, yet advocated for capital punishment at the same time.

“It doesn’t make sense to me personally, and especially as a Catholic,” Williams said. “It’s important to value life at all stages. Every life is a life that God created and it needs to be respected as such.”

Watch Williams discussing more on this topic in the video below: