Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Death Penalty Repeal Headed to Senate Floor

I Twittered this hours ago, but I got too busy reporting to blog ...

Anyway, in case you didn't hear, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-5 to give a do-pass to HB285, which would repeal the death penalty and replace it with life-in-prison-without possibility of parole.
Former Gov. Gary Johnson
You can read the full story HERE.

I spoke with former Gov. Gary Johnson shortly after the vote. He was governor in 2001, during the last execution in the state, that of child-murderer and rapist Terry Clark.

Johnson had been a strong supporter of the death penalty, but the Clark execution, and research Johnson did into the subject around that time, made him soften his position. Right after the execution he said he'd give serious consideration to signing a death-penalty repeal in 2002. But nobody bothered to introduce a bill in the 2002 session, even though Johnson said he'd put it on the call.

Now he flat out says he's become a death penalty opponent and would have signed a repeal. Read more of Johnson's comments in my story in today's paper.