WyoFile columnist Kerry Drake writes, "Can we join the civilized world and end the death penalty?" Here's the beginning:
In January 1992, the last time the state of Wyoming executed a man, I was at the Capitol Building in Cheyenne before the scheduled midnight lethal injection in Rawlins, interviewing people who opposed killing Mark Hopkinson.
I agreed with them. As a newspaper editorial writer at the time for The Wyoming Eagle, I had implored Gov. Mike Sullivan to commute the sentence to life imprisonment. So did many others, including Amnesty International. I saw the light still on in the governor’s office, and though we all knew he wasn’t going to stop Hopkinson’s imminent demise, he was at work, doing his duty, just in case something happened to stall things.
Snow was falling lightly, and there was only a small band of protesters. Even if the weather had been nicer, I doubt it would have attracted much more of a crowd. Few people in Wyoming were sympathetic toward Hopkinson, an Evanston businessman who had ordered the murders of an attorney and his family as well as a former associate, Jeffrey Green, who turned him in to authorities. Most residents believed he was getting what he deserved. I understand that feeling.
It isn’t necessarily the person being executed that makes me oppose capital punishment; I just don’t feel the state has the right to take a life in the name of its citizens. Killing Hopkinson wasn’t going to bring back his victims. Given that more than 140 nations feel the same way and have abolished the death penalty, I’m in agreement with the vast majority of people in the world.
Earlier coverage from Wyoming begins at the link.