Death penalty repeal bill fails despite sponsorship from 40 Wyoming legislators - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Death penalty repeal bill fails despite sponsorship from 40 Wyoming legislators

Rep. Steve Harshman, R-Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — A bill that would have repealed the death penalty in Wyoming has failed despite apparent support from at least 40 legislators.

The Wyoming House of Representatives considered the bill during their Wednesday, Feb. 12 floor session. A majority of representatives voted to have the bill introduced, but not enough to meet the two-thirds majority required for introduction during budget sessions.

The House voted 37-23 on the introductory vote. Multiple groups including one called “Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty” and the “American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming” have been urging the state to repeal the death penalty.

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“We’re disappointed that legislators won’t consider a bill to repeal the death penalty this year, but our resolve to end this abhorrent practice remains strong,” said Sabrina King, director of campaigns for the ACLU of Wyoming. “The death penalty is costly, ineffective and it is disingenuous to keep it part of our criminal justice system. It is clear that a majority of the House supports repeal. We know by next year the Senate will as well. One year from now it is our commitment that Wyoming will finally end the death penalty.”

Legislators sponsoring the bill included Representatives Olsen, Barlow, Blake, Brown, Burkhart, Burlingame, Clifford, Connolly, Crank, Dayton-Selman, Eklund, Eyre, Flitner, Freeman, Harshman, Henderson, Larsen, Lindholm, Nicholas, Olsen, Pelkey, Piiparinen, Roscoe, Schwartz, Tass, Western, Wilson, Yin and Zwonitzer and Senators Anselmi-Dalton, Baldwin, Boner, Case, Gierau, Kost, Landen, Pappas, Rothfuss, Schuler and Von Flatern.