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September 17, 2012

"Conservative group looks to abolish Montana death penalty"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable new press report from the Treasure State.  Here is how it starts:

A conservative political group opposed to the death penalty is calling for an end to capital punishment in the wake of a recent court ruling that found the state’s method of execution unconstitutional. “Conservatives dislike waste and inefficiency. That is why we should cast a critical eye when the state is involved with the business of executing people,” said former Republican state Sen. Roy Brown of Billings.

Brown is on the advisory committee of Montana Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. “When it takes over 20 years and hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars for extra legal fees and court costs, it is obvious that the process is full of waste and inefficiency,” Brown said. Brown worked across the aisle with Democrats in the state Senate in past legislative sessions to try to end the death penalty in Montana.

Montana State District Court Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of Helena ruled Sept. 17 that the protocols by which death row inmates are executed in Montana violate both state law and the Montana Constitution. Sherlock’s decision requires that both the Legislature and the Department of Corrections act to make changes to the rules that govern an inmate’s execution.

However, critics of the death penalty say the ruling should catalyze opposition to the death penalty in the halls of the Capitol. “The ruling shines a bright light on the ineffectiveness and inefficiencies associated with capital punishment. Couple that with strong conservative leadership on the issue, and we are optimistic that we will abolish the death penalty in 2013,” said Steve Dogiakos, director of the conservative abolition group. “On the national level, there are a growing number of conservatives who are vocal about the problems of the death penalty.”

September 17, 2012 at 09:05 AM | Permalink


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I am not trying to demonise these conservatives, but I do esteem their role
to resemble that of Vladimir Lenin's "useful idiots".

Anti-death penalty activists have made the process as costly as it is: this is not even debated by most of their ilk,
who are liberal, not conservative.
In response, these Montana conservatives deem the sentence too expensive to sustain, regardless of
its justness and import?

If vandals increase one's cost of doing business: install cameras, have them arrested, and continue to do business.

Don't capitulate to extortion and irrelevancies; the Death Penalty is just, democratic, and conservative.

Posted by: Adamakis | Sep 17, 2012 12:15:00 PM

I believe Montana has had three executions in the last 50 years, meaning that "abolition" of its death penalty would amount to, for any practical purpose, abolition of something that doesn't exist.

I'll take that in exchange for the defeat of Prop 34.

P.S. The idea that a single state judge's holding a single method of execution impermissible is a sensible reason to abolish all executions by any method, forever, is nonsense on its face.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Sep 17, 2012 3:23:15 PM

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