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May 3, 2005

More perspectives on Massachusetts death penalty bill

The introduction by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney of a bill to bring capital punishment back to the state (first discussed here, initial commentary here) is already garnering interesting debates.  For example, the Boston Herald has weighed in with this editorial which contends "the categories of murder justifying capital punishment in Romney's bill are too narrowly drawn and the jury's "no doubt'' standard is set ridiculously high."  The Herald also notes in this article that advocates of the death penalty are not too impressed with the proposal:

"It looks like it was written by a criminal defense attorney,'' said Mike Paranzino of the pro-death penalty group Throwawaythekey.org.  "It is stacked again and again in the killers' favor and victims are an after-thought.  It would be unlikely to ever lead to an execution in Massachusetts.''

Meanwhile, The Republican has expressed its opposition to the bill in this editorial which stresses that "no death penalty is foolproof, even with multiple safeguards in place."  Taking a different approach, I was pleased to see the Blue Mass. Group blog in this post has picked up the theme of costs, which I flagged in my earlier commentary here, asking "is Romney absolutely committed to the vast sums it will cost to provide highly qualified counsel, scientific testing, and all the rest of the bells and whistles this bill promises?  And how, exactly, does he plan to do that while cutting taxes?"

I have received a copy of the bill, which comes fronted by an interesting cover letter signed by Gov. Romney.  You can download below the bill, and come to your own judgments on its merits.

Download mass_capital_punishment_bill.pdf

May 3, 2005 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

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Comments

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,
I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW THAT I ATTEMPTED TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF VERTSION OF THE MASSACHUSETTS DEATH PENALTY BILL FROM THE LINK ON YOUR WEBSITE, HOWEVER MY COMPUTER KEEPS SENDING ME A
ERROR MESSAGE THAT IS DOCUMENT IS NOT BEING UNDERSTOOD BY MY PDF READIER. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THERE MIGHT BE SOME PROBLEM WITH THE DOCUMENTMAT YOUR END. JUST WANTED TO PASS THIS ALONG TO YOU. IF YOU CAN PLEASE E-MAIL THE COPY OF THE BILL TO ME IT WOUL;D BE GREATLY APPREICATED.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ANTICIAPATED COOPERATION

JIM KANE

Posted by: JIM KANE | May 5, 2005 11:30:44 PM

To: DAB
From: Jim Kane

Just to let you know that I am a legal and legislative researcher and your web is very helpful to me.

I recently downloaded another copy of Governor Romney's Death Penalty Bill from you website and it apears to be working fine now. Thanks for your help

Respectfully,
Jim Kane

Posted by: Jim Kane | May 13, 2005 10:42:16 PM

I am doing a college paper on the death penalty... and i need to know the steps needed to get it passed in a state... thanks for your time

Posted by: brian | Jun 5, 2006 12:07:08 PM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB