Bill to Repeal Death Penalty in Wyoming Filed Today

Affiliate: ACLU of Wyoming
February 10, 2020 7:45 pm

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With 40 co-sponsors, Rep. Jared Olsen (R-Cheyenne) filed House Bill 166, legislation that would repeal the death penalty in Wyoming.

The bill will need the support of 2/3 of House lawmakers in order to be introduced during the legislature’s budget session, but supporters are confident that will happen. The death penalty’s history of deep injustices, skyrocketing costs and entrenched discrimination defies party lines in the Equality State.

“Ending the death penalty is not a partisan issue in Wyoming,” said Sabrina King, director of campaigns for the ALCU of Wyoming. “We know innocent people are sent to death row, we know the toll on victims’ families from the death penalty is immense, and we know having it in law does not serve as a deterrent to violent crime – and people on both sides of the political aisle agree. It’s time to end the death penalty in Wyoming.”

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.

In addition to the ACLU of Wyoming, organizations like the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne, the League of Women Voters of Wyoming, Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church of Cheyenne and Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty also support the repeal of the death penalty.

Also worth noting: The bill’s number – HB 166 – is significant. Since 1973, 166 former death-row prisoners have been exonerated of all charges and set free.

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