By a 26-24 vote, the Montana Senate yesterday voted to repeal the death penalty. Twenty-two Democrats and 4 Republicans voted for the measure (SB 185), which now goes to the House. This is the second straight legislative session in which the Montana Senate has endorsed repeal.
This year, an abolition bill has already passed in Illinois, where it awaits action from the Governor. And other repeal bills have been filed in states across the country, from Maryland to Connecticut to Kansas to Washington.
Abolition has become more appealing to state legislators in recent years as they have become more aware of capital punishment’s exorbitant financial cost, the dangers of executing the innocent, and the grueling toll the death penalty process takes on victim families.