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South Dakota Former Prosecutor Introduces Bill to Limit the State’s Death Penalty

A South Dakota state senator who previously served as a prosecutor and a state court judge has introduced a bill to limit the breadth of the state’s death penalty statute. Senate Bill 98, introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arthur Rusch (R – Clay, pictured) on January 25, 2021, would restrict capital punishment to a single aggravating circumstance, premeditated murders in which a defendant killed a police officer, corrections officer, or firefighter during the performance of their official duties.

Democratic Legislators Introduce Death Penalty Repeal Bills, Urge President Biden to Commute Federal Death Sentences

Posted: January 20, 2021 Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate have called on incoming President Joe Biden (pictured) to take quick action on his campaign pledge to end the federal death penalty. Legislators introduced three bills to abolish the federal death penalty and urged the President to issue executive orders to halt federal executions and commute the death sentences of those on federal death row.

Committee advances bill to end death penalty to Virginia Senate floor

1/26/2021 (The Center Square) – A Virginia Senate committee voted Tuesday to advance legislation that would abolish the death penalty in the commonwealth.

Senate Bill 1165, sponsored by Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon, would eliminate the use of the death penalty in Virginia, including for those who are on death row.

Four people are on death row in Virginia, and the state’s last execution was in 2017. Since 2010, eight people have been executed in the state.

MLK Day 2021: The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Death Penalty

From the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC)

On Martin Luther King Day, DPIC looks at the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s views on capital punishment.

In a November 1957 article in Ebony, Dr. King was asked “Do you think God approves the death penalty for crimes like rape and murder?” He responded, “I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crime, rape and murder included…. Capital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology, and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God.”

Colorado is the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty

Tue March 24, 2020 (CNN) The death penalty will soon be no more in Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation on Monday abolishing the death penalty, making Colorado the 22nd state to do so.

He also commuted the sentences of three men on death row. Robert Ray, Sir Mario Owens and Nathan Dunlap will now serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to a news release.

Appeals court rejects DOJ request to resume executions

12/2/2019 A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Monday denied the Justice Department's efforts to lift a temporary halt on four federal executions.

The department had appealed a trial judge's ruling last month that ordered a stay of the executions while a separate legal challenge to the Trump administration's new lethal injection protocol plays out.

The longest running of the four lawsuits was filed 16 years ago, and the cases went dormant during the Obama administration amid a shortage of lethal injection drugs.

Few Pending Cases Meet Oregon's Higher Bar For Death Penalty

Oct. 2, 2019 5:12 p.m. | Portland, Ore. For a state that hasn’t seen an execution in more than two decades, the death penalty has cast an enormous shadow in Oregon this year.

Now, the potential for any future executions has become much more limited, even in pending cases that were eligible for the death penalty when they were charged, an analysis by OPB has found.

Candidate for Multnomah County DA pledges to never seek the death penalty if elected

“When the death penalty is on the table, the number of motions filed by the state and by the defense is way higher than cases where it’s not on the table,” he said. “The estimates I’ve seen with aggravated murder cases with the death penalty average $800,000 to $1 million — and that doesn’t even take into consideration if the person’s sentenced.”

Oct 01, 2019 A former prosecutor has announced his run for the soon-to-be vacant Multnomah County district attorney seat.

Schmidt is running for Multnomah County District Attorney.

Calling Oregon death penalty ‘costly and immoral,’ governor signs bill limiting its use

Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday signed a bill that represents the first major legislative restriction to Oregon’s death penalty since 1984, when voters amended the constitution to include capital punishment.

“Our state’s criminal justice system continues to impose death sentences, and send people to death row, even as we know that no one has been executed here in a generation,” said Brown, according to prepared remarks released by her office.

Gazette Times: Editorial: Legislature goes almost all the way on death penalty

Gazette Times: Editorial: Legislature goes almost all the way on death penalty

Jul 3, 2019 It was probably inevitable, considering the dramatic way that the last couple of weeks of the legislative session played out. With so much focus on the Republican senators' walkout and the death of the cap-and-trade bill, a number of relatively high-profile measures were passed that normally would have earned more attention.

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