The Great Falls Tribune reports, "Anti-death penalty bill revived: Group to call for life in prison without parole instead." It's written by John S. Adams.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate plan to introduce a bill to abolish the death penalty in Montana.
The proposed measure would replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The bill, which has not yet been introduced, is co-sponsored by Rep. Doug Kary, R-Billings; Rep. Margie MacDonald, D-Billings; Sen. Matthew Rosendale, R-Glendive; and Sen. Dave Wanzenried, D-Missoula.
Similar efforts to abolish the death penalty have failed in past legislative sessions. The bill cleared the Senate in 2009 and 2011 before dying in the House Judiciary Committee.
A new bipartisan coalition of conservative lawmakers, human rights groups and religious organizations hopes this renewed effort will have the momentum it needs to guide the bill through the legislative process and on to the governor’s desk.
At a Friday lunch meeting of a group called Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, Rosendale urged fellow conservatives to “come out of the shadows” and support the pending legislation.
“There are a lot of people who support the abolition of the death penalty who won’t come out of their closets and stand there and let other folks know (they oppose the death penalty) because they’re nervous,” Rosendale said. “They’re not sure how many people would stand with them and oppose it.”
Earlier coverage of the conservative assault on capital punishment in Montana begins at the link. Coverage of repeal legislation in the 2011 and 2009 Montana legislative sessions is also available.
Montana currently has a de facto moratorium on executions because the state's lethal injection procedure was ruled uncostitutional last year. The case of Ronald Smith, a Canadian citizen on the state's death row has also received significant attention.