Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Death Penalty Measures Lethally Injected

A House committee just a few minutes ago effectively killed two measures that would have revived capital punishment in New Mexico were effectively killed Tuesday by a House committee.

The House Consumer & Public Affairs Committees voted 3-2 along party lines to table House Bill 371 and House Joint Resolution 7, both sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kintigh, R-Roswell.

The joint resolution would have put the issue on the 2012 general election ballot.

The committee is chaired by Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque, who sponsored the 2009 bill that repealed the law allowing legal executions. Chasey is a long-time opponent of the death penalty.

Bringing back the death penalty was an issue that Gov. Susana Martinez campaigned on last year. She included it as a priority in her state-of-the-state address at the beginning of the session.

After the votes, death penalty opponents pointed out to me that the Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has said he'll sign a bill outlawing capital punishment in his state.