ACLU of Wyoming reacts to death penalty repeal in New Hampshire
Yesterday, New Hampshire repealed the death penalty, making it the 21st state to abolish the punishment in the United States.
The news is welcome to supporters of Wyoming’s Campaign to End the Death Penalty in 2020, including the ALCU of Wyoming, who see similarities to the conversations that surrounded the death penalty repeal bill in New Hampshire to those that are currently taking place around the Equality State.
“Like death penalty repeal supporters in New Hampshire touted, capital punishment is archaic, costly and discriminatory,” said Sabrina King, director of campaigns for the ACLU of Wyoming. “The death penalty is an intolerable denial of civil liberties and is inconsistent with the fundamental values of our democratic system. Having it in law does not serve as a deterrent to violent crime. It’s time to end the death penalty in Wyoming.”
Also similar to New Hampshire, ending the death penalty is not a partisan issue in Wyoming. The death penalty’s history of deep injustices, skyrocketing costs and entrenched discrimination defies party lines. In the 2019 Wyoming legislative session, a bill to repeal the death penalty drew far more support from state lawmakers than ever before. The bill had 13 co-sponsors in the House and five in the Senate, and had the support of leadership in both chambers. Ultimately, the bill passed in the House but failed with an 18-12 vote in the Senate.
The Campaign to End the Death Penalty in 2020 is supported by the ACLU of Wyoming, the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne, the League of Women Voters of Wyoming, Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church of Cheyenne, and the Wyoming NAACP. The group announced its intent to push for a repeal bill in the 2020 budget session in April.
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The Capital Punishment Project works toward the repeal of the death penalty in the United States through strategic litigation, advocacy, public education, and training programs for capital defense teams.