Aug. 29, 2022

572: Rethinking the Death Penalty - Why Should Conservatives be Concerned About the Death Penalty?

Demetrius is an advocate for criminal justice reform and he's been working for years to get conservatives to rethink the death penalty. And you know what? He's right—there are plenty of reasons why conservatives should be concerned about the death penalty.

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Today we're joined by Demetrius Minor from Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.


Demetrius is an advocate for criminal justice reform and he's been working for years to get conservatives to rethink the death penalty.


And you know what? He's right—there are plenty of reasons why conservatives should be concerned about the death penalty.


The death penalty isn't cost-effective, it doesn't deter crime, and it can be applied unfairly. It also doesn't work as a deterrent and often isn't even used as punishment by states that still have it on the books.


If you're interested in learning more about Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (CCADP), visit their website at


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Brian Nichols  0:00  
Instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, happy Monday there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. Thanks for joining us. I know it's been a while and by a while it's been what, two days? Hopefully you didn't miss me too much. But if you did, don't worry, we have a great conversation in store for you today. Today, we're gonna be talking about Yeah, the death penalty, and why even if you are a conservative, you should in fact, be concerned about it. But before we get there, I gotta go ahead and give a shout out to today's sponsor. And that is The Brian Nichols Show shop over at proud libertarian, check out our new swag, we have our new line here of the magic money tree series. So make sure you go ahead and grab that. And if you're over on our YouTube, you can see here for the magic money tree. Yes, it is a tree made Evan fact every single one of those is $1 bill for the leaves. And we got our little unicorn and leprechauns underneath with the Fed, of course, being the magic money tree at the center. If you want to go ahead and grab yours, we'll make sure you hit the Brian Nichols forward slash shop and use code TBNS at checkout. Yeah, you can go ahead and get I think it's 10% off disk discount there at checkout, so why not and also, this is a fun shirt. So one more time you'll go ahead and get our magic money tree series. Over at The Brian Nichols Show shop the Brian Nichols forward slash shop. Alright folks. So going on to today's episode, I want to go ahead and bring on a new guest talking about issue we have talked about here on the show in the past, but today we're gonna be talking to the new head of conservatives concerned about the death penalty, Demetrius minor Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.

Demetrius Minor  1:45  
That's quite the intro. Man. Good to be here. I was definitely intrigued by the show opener. I liked the Statue of Liberty inBloom that you have there as a reminder of why you and I do the work that we do.

Brian Nichols  2:05  
Amen. Here here and we got to hang out by the way, fighting the good fight down in Florida. We hung out Young Americans for Liberty ironically enough, our tables were right next to each other. And we talked about this a little bit we talked about the importance of not just what we're trying to do here, meet raise awareness in terms of how we can sell liberty to folks out there with our solutions. What we saw there Young Americans for Liberty with all the 1000 Plus young Liberty activists who are out there Raider roll got me really pumped up and excited. And then what you guys are doing over conservatives concerned about the death penalty. We had Hannah Cox on the show, many a time good friend of the program, and she has talked at length about what you guys have been doing over conservatives concerned. But how about this, Demetrius, you're taking over the reins over conservative concern? And I'd love for you to if you would number one, reintroduce conservatives concern to the audience. But number two, if you would introduce yourself to The Brian Nichols Show audience?

Demetrius Minor  2:56  
Absolutely. Well, I'm gonna go with the latter. My name is Demetrius minor. I am the manager of conservatives concerned about the death penalty. I've been in politics since 2004, which seems like light years ago, so much has changed and, and shifted during that time. I have a background in in church ministry, in radio and television, which really is a nice way of saying I run my mouth a lot. I'm also writer and editor. But I'm very thankful for the work that I've been able to do with conservatives concerned about the national conservatives concerned about the death penalty, because in the national space that we occupy, it's given me the opportunity to connect with like minded people in the freedom in the liberty movement, who, like me, see the problems that exists with the death penalty, and desire to bring it into it? To give you some of the backstory of conservatives concerned about the death penalty, it was first formed, I think, in 2012, in the state of Montana, when a group of Republican officials got together and talked about their opposition to the death penalty in some of the concerns that they have with it that it doesn't align with conservative principles or the platform of freedom and liberty, and conservatives concerned about the death penalty was officially launched in 2013, at CPAC, which stands for Conservative Political Action Conference, which is the largest gathering of conservatives in the nation. Since then, we've seen the launching of 13 state chapters, including a recent one in Oklahoma, which I'm sure we'll get to in just a few moments. And we've been on we've been able to see spread this message of limited government, but also bringing awareness of how effective the current justice system is to a national audience. And we've been able to see the death for the death penalty repealed in several states. And I'm just looking forward to that continued success.

Brian Nichols  5:20  
Yeah, well, let's talk about some of that success. Because first and foremost, I think, talking about what we've seen across the country, the conversation has changed in terms of how we're approaching the death penalty. And I think that is huge to begin with. It was, I think, almost a foregone conclusion, in many cases that the death penalty was just a common sense solution for the worst case, situations, the worst criminals out there amongst the criminals, and really shouldn't be used in those worst case scenarios. But it wasn't until I had originally Hannah on the program. And she started going through some of the statistics. And it really just blew me away of how not only does the death penalty not only not get used for exclusively those worst case scenarios, but many times, it ends up putting innocent people to death who weren't even in the realm of being convicted, but they were actually charged due to the old ways of collecting DNA or evidence back 3040 50 years ago. And now they're the ones paying the price today. So there's a lot to this that people just don't really think about.

Demetrius Minor  6:25  
You're absolutely right. If one person is put to death, one innocent person is, Brian, that's one person too many. And so in just in the state of Oklahoma, where I just came from last week, they've had 13, exonerees. They've had a history of botched executions. So if you got it wrong once, then you're going to be prone to get it wrong a second time. And listen, it is on every occasion. It's the height of big government, right? It's giving the state more power than it deserves. So I tell Brock Bryan, I tell people this, I don't trust the government to deliver my mail on time. I don't trust the government to give me accurate COVID numbers. Why would I trust the government? And I'm not being hyperbolic here. I'm not exaggerating. But why would I trust the government with literally my life, an issue of life and death. So enhancing the scope and the power of government is automatically a red flag. And then also, like you just alluded to innocent people have been put to death. And I know there's this narrative out there that the death penalty should be reserved for the most heinous of crimes? Well, first of all, the most heinous of call most heinous of crimes is subjective. I think everyone's a lot of people want to point to well, if someone gets murdered, or if someone gets raped, that's a heinous crime. Well, what if someone gets kidnapped, but they don't get murdered. And that's not labeled a heinous crime? Well, now, we haven't taken into consideration the family of that victim, and the emotional and psychological ordeal that they have encountered. So when we use the term, heinous of crime was heinous. One person may not necessarily be heinous to another person. And then also, the death penalty it does is is not serving as a deterrent to crime. As a matter of fact, the death penalty doesn't make us more safe. And so there's this this fail notion of thinking that, Oh, if we just execute the criminals, if we just threaten them with the death penalty, it's going to reduce crime. That's absolutely false. Listen, no, no one no criminal, no one who's intent on committing a crime is going to wake up and be like, Okay, I'm going to execute this person, oh, wait, if I execute the person, under the state law, I might find I might be subjected to the death penalty. That's not how the criminal thing someone has an intent to minute to commit a crime. They're gonna go about committing the crime, regardless of what the law of the land is. That's, that's what makes it criminal activity. That's what differentiates them from law abiding citizens. So I think we have to rethink the way we approached the death penalty, and what we have been learned or educated about the death penalty.

Brian Nichols  9:43  
Yeah, and there's a video you guys did back in February for Black History Month, I wanted to really quickly share that with the audience because it brings on another aspect of talking about death, the death penalty, so I'm gonna go ahead and share my screen real quick. And by the way, folks, if you're on the podcast version of the show, we'll head over to the YouTube you'll go ahead and see the video here live. But hey, this will work as well for for audio listeners, well take a listen.

Demetrius Minor  10:10  
Hi, I'm Demetrius minor, and I'm the National Manager for conservatives concerned about the death penalty. And as we reflect upon the contributions made by African Americans during Black History Month, I want to bring awareness to a critical issue that is affecting our communities. Discrimination in capital punishment was explicitly written into many state laws during the era of slavery. Black people, whether they were free or enslaved, face the death penalty for crimes that were not even eligible for death if committed by a white individual, but Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty in 1972. Because of its bias application, lawmakers then rewrote death penalty laws to create more consistency in death, sentencing, and the death penalty was restored to state starting in 1976. And to no surprise at all. The revised laws still failed to address racial bias when I think of those who are abolitionists of slavery, names like Harriet Tubman Fector, Douglas, Sojourner Truth, and John Brown come to mind. But it is you that I now have because now is an opportunity for conservatives to be abolitionists of the death penalty for those who have been oppressed and victimized by a justice system that has failed to represent them. We as conservatives, must reassure them, we'll speak up for them. And it's time for us to act. It is time to end the death penalty. For more information on how you can join our calls, please go to www dot conservatives

Brian Nichols  12:15  
Well, I mean, right there and this is a conversation that I think we've seen far too often not addressed, and that is that yes, the death penalty directly goes after those minorities that the laws in many cases were written explicitly to go after in the first place. This is something that I wasn't aware of. And and frankly, I'm so glad that you're doing this to help raise awareness. So talk to us about this Demetrius what what has this history the death penalty? Really, hasn't every home ever go in racist, racist backgrounds? In the world of wine, there are so many choices and that's why blood of tyrants wine has tyrants losing their heads, whether you're looking for a new go to that home, or watching the press your friends at a party, a lot of times wine has you covered. And if you're trying to get rid of some pesky parents here, like Well, we've got the cover to have it Brian Nichols forward slash wine and get $5 off your order. One more time, Brian Nichols, forward slash wine freemen don't ask permission. So take a sip, you'll be glad you did.

Demetrius Minor  13:14  
Absolutely. That's a great question, Brian. So out of the percentage of the individuals who are on death, row 41% are black 41%. And because our sentencing standards are so vague and so arbitrary, what we are doing is we are allowing decision makers to fall back on conscience or unconscious prejudices about who they think the worst offenders are. And many times when you hear this language about the worst offenders, or these criminals who quote unquote, are the lowest of society, a lot of times is racially hinge language. And so what the death penalty does, it exploits a prejudicial stance that has already existed. And so within the conservative movement, you know, there's there's this long existed journey on how to make the movement more inclusive to to African Americans, to Hispanics, to minorities, I believe a way that they can be successful and that is to not just talk about criminal justice reform, and give this bird's eye view of it, but to be very specific, and to talk about the racial bias that exists. So number one, you have to acknowledge that it says that the death penalty is an extension of systemic racism within the criminal justice system. You have to acknowledge it and then you have to say Okay, we need to put it into this practice that it's not only violates our, our belief of having a consistent life ethic. It's not only fiscally ineffective, it not only does not serve as a turn to crime, but it's racially bias. And we have to call it for what it is. And the time to do that. It's

Brian Nichols  15:23  
now let's talk about, because you are seeing right now the time has to do it now. And you're seeing states across the country starting to take the charge. And before I went, I had him a shout out on this was a thing where you're having a lot of these local state chapters of conservatives concerned launching, most recently the 13th state now being Oklahoma, talk to us about that, Oklahoma, and you think all these red states and now they're actually taking on the death penalty, with such such a focus? What's been the change?

Demetrius Minor  15:52  
Absolutely, Brian and II know, Oklahoma is deep bread. That's a deep red state. I mean, you're talking about a state that exists within the Bible beltway. But what has happened in Oklahoma it for us it started over the summer, when there was national attention brought to the Julius Jones case, a African American male who was scheduled to be put to death, new evidence emerge, that really put a cloud of doubt over the fact that he was proclaimed to be guilty. Many on the right American Conservative Union conservatives concerned about the death penalty, combined with voices on the left, brought awareness to this issue, and asked for Governor Kevin Stitt to grant clemency, and thankfully he did. But what we wanted to do, we just didn't want that to be an isolated case where, you know, it's popular for a couple of days, and then the issue wings out, we wanted to build upon that momentum. So what we did was we looked at the history of Oklahoma, Oklahoma, again, 13, exonerees, botched executions, a, a matter of a lack of transparency, of how the death penalty was being implemented in that state. So we wanted to bring awareness about that and say, Listen, the history here in the in the Sooner State is very alarming. And it needs to come to an end. So we have forged a state chapter to bring about awareness of this issue. And to at a minimum, see a moratorium put in place, until we're at the point where the death penalty can be fully repealed.

Brian Nichols  17:50  
All right, now, I gotta put my sales guy hat on, even though I am currently wearing my good ideas don't require a force hat also can be found at Brian Nichols, forward slash shop, ah, but also putting myself out on one of the things we always talk about is not just overcoming objections, but blocking objections. And I know, one of the main things I always hear and I'm sure you hear all the time as well is, well what about though those worst of the worst, the just absolute stain on society stain on humanity, those criminals who I mean, frankly, any of us had that gut instinct to say, yeah, they don't deserve to breathe our air anymore. They've done something so horrendous. So to those folks and to those, those real situations that happen in our world, unfortunately, what's it used to be just,

Demetrius Minor  18:37  
you know, I, I'm very cautious and hesitant to put one person's life as having more dignity over another person. I also look through it through the lens of redemption and restoration. The 23rd song, I think, even for those who are not overtly religious, is familiar with 23rd Song quoted at funerals, we record it at weddings is commonly used, especially in conservative politics. At the very end, Brian of that passage to Psalm is David says, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And not to give people an extended Bible lesson on your show. But David was wasn't just a Psalm as David was a king, but he was also an adulterer. And because of that said, it led him to be a murderer. And yet we hear these word of grace and mercy, becoming the language for one of the most prominent songs that he would ever write I believe that stance has influenced who I am as a person. Because, listen, even, even when we think we have the facts, even when we think we have the evidence, it's been proven that a lot of times that that's going to come up as insufficient, especially with DNA evidence. But I think we have to accept ourselves as conservatives, as people who not just want to look at things logically. But we have to ask ourselves, where are we going, as a society? What, what are we leaving behind for the generation that's going to follow us? Or are we simply going to talk about a system that's going to issue out harsh punishment, and not change society? Or can we focus on rehabilitating the individual transforming the system, changing our approach, and so I never want to be in a position to where I'd say, this person's life has more value than another person's life, or this person is more significant than the other person. And so I am not saying that we're going to have this utopian society. But I do think that we have to change the way that we approach the individual. And then if we change the way we approach the individual, it changed the way we approach the issue.

Brian Nichols  21:41  
All right, well, let me just unfortunately, we are already hard pressed for time, which means, of course, we want folks to be able to continue the conversation with you. So do us a favor, number one, direct us to where folks can go ahead and reach out to you but also continue to follow conservative conservative about the death penalty. And then number two final thoughts you'd have for the audience today as we wrap up today's episode.

Demetrius Minor  22:00  
Absolutely. You can find our work at conservatives You can also follow me on Twitter at D minor 85. I'm also on Facebook, I'm just I'm on just about every social media platform, my message should audiences stay engaged, stay active. We live in a society where many people are not inclined to do their own research and to, to look on to know what the facts are. We live in a society where people want to go based off of feelings instead of all facts. But I just want to encourage your audience to be engaged to be active on the issues, educate yourself. And don't don't don't take one word, as go through the facts for yourself, and you'll be thankful for it.

Brian Nichols  22:55  
I know my final thought it kind of echoes yours, Demetrius is that you need to be eternally curious. I, when I first heard this, this tape, you have to write because it was on handles on the show. Originally, I was taken aback I was like, really like no death penalty at all. And like that was a very controversial kind of approach for me to hear. But over the past, I think now four and a half years since I last spoke to Hana first on the show to where I am today. Yeah, my entire perspective has changed because we seen in you mentioned this earlier, you see what the government does when they think they have the answers when it comes to COVID and lock downs and trying to protect us over the past two plus years now from the COVID 19 pandemic and yet we now suddenly turn off that that rightful and we have an entire mountain of evidence to question government we turn off that that inquisitive in curious, skeptical nature, because it's something that traditionally conservatives have supported now. It was it really made me say, you know, I gotta be curious, I gotta look into this a little bit more. I gotta figure out now truly, to your point, what what is the impact here? And once I did my eyes open, so to me just

Demetrius Minor  24:09  
real quick, no. We're supposed to evolve as human beings. I'm not simpler. I'm 36 I'm not supposed to be the same person. I was at 26. Yep. Well evolving. To change your stance based on new information is a growth of maturity. It's actually something that should be more evident and more visible in the political spectrum and sadly, is not so I don't condemn anyone who used to be pro death penalty. But as they became educated as they became aware that obviously that position is going to evolve, evolving is actually a mature thing to do.

Brian Nichols  24:50  
Well, there you go, folks, if you if you found yourself being questioned throughout the entire episode, and now you're now you're more curious. Well, folks, please do me a favor please. Number one Go ahead and give this episode of share. And when you do, make sure you go ahead and tag yours truly and Demetrius and also tag our conservatives concern, we'll make sure we include all those links in the show notes. But number two, please go ahead and reach out to Demetrius and the amazing team over at conservatives concern if you're in a state where you want to help lead the conversation. I know folks, you can go ahead and if your state does not have a local chapter or State chapter, I'm pretty sure man here, Demeter is gonna go ahead and point you in the right way to where you can get started. And the other net, folks, by the way, did you know that we have all 570 Plus episodes of The Brian Nichols Show available for your listening pleasure over at Brian Nichols It's true, I head over there or you can go to your podcast app and hit the little like Settings button and hit download all unplayed episodes where you can start with Episode one here my evolution starting back in 2018, all the way to where we are here, almost done Demeter. It's hard to imagine with a 2022 as we head to 2023 and beyond, and this will continue to be a conversation that will be leading the headlines. So with that being said, Folks, thank you for joining us on today's episode. With that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Demetrius minor from conservatives concerned about the death penalty. We'll see you tomorrow. Thanks for listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols Enjoying the audio version of the show, then you'll love our YouTube channel. Be sure to head over there and subscribe. If you're new to The Brian Nichols Show, be sure to head to your favorite podcast catcher and click download all unplayed episodes so you don't miss one of our nearly 500 episodes that will be sure to leave us educated, enlightened and informed. If you got value from today's episode. Can you do me a favor and head the Brian Nichols forward slash support and leave us a $5 donation and by the way, have you get on the show a five star review yet? If not head to Apple podcasts and tell folks why you listen to the program and don't forget to tell your friends to subscribe to follow me on social media at be Nichols liberty and again if you'd be so kind please consider making a donation to The Brian Nichols Show at the Brian Nichols forward slash support. The Brian Nichols Show is supported by viewers like you. Thank you to our patrons Darryl Schmitz, Michael Lima, Michel Mankiewicz, Cody John's Trent, the caster and the we're libertarians network

Transcribed by

Demetrius MinorProfile Photo

Demetrius Minor

Demetrius Minor is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network.

Demetrius is the author of the book Preservation and Purpose: The Making of a Young Millennial and a Manifesto for Faith, Family and Politics, and his writing has been featured in The Washington Times, on and by FreedomWorks.

Demetrius served as an White House intern during the administration of President George W. Bush.

Additionally, Demetrius was a program director and co-host for WNRR-Augusta and the co-host of “Points of Interest,” a local political show available through Comcast cable. He is a preacher and a graduate of the Pentecostals of Alexandria Ministers Training Center (POATC).

Demetrius is also a graduate of Augusta University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and government.

He and his wife, Riesa, currently reside in Tampa, FL, where they both serve on the leadership staff at Tampa Life Church.