Sponsors: Senators Rusch, Bradford, Buhl O’Donnell, Frerichs, Heinert, Hunhoff (Bernie), Parsley, Peterson (Jim), and Sutton and Representatives Johns, Bartling, Bordeaux, Conzet, Deutsch, Feickert, Heinemann (Leslie), Holmes, Killer, Kirschman, Ring, Schoenbeck, Schoenfish, Soli, and Steinhauer
Purpose: repeal the death penalty.
Well, there’s what could be one of the controversial bills this session.
I see friends and people I support on the sponsor list, and I’m sure there’s a ton of those on the other side who are going to fight it. Where am I on the measure? I don’t know that those who propose repealing it have made a convincing case why it’s application in South Dakota is unjust. At least, not sufficiently to convince others that it is time to repeal it.
Art Rusch, having presided over a Death Penalty case as judge certainly can speak with authority to it. But, in South Dakota, our application of it is used so sparingly, and so rarely, I’m not sure how the proponents of the measure can say that we do it in any way wrong in South Dakota. We’re not like Florida or Texas. We’ve had 3 executions since 1976, and I believe there’s 3 on death row at the moment. I don’t think we underthink these very weighty sentences.
I believe that the death penalty should be applied sparingly, and only for the most heinous crimes. And I think we currently meet that test.
This isn’t one of those issues where I think the sponsors are a pack of wild eyed liberals. (At least most of them). There are some very moral people who object to it. But as I said, I’m not sure the time has arrived when they can win this one.
Where are you on the bill to repeal the Dealth penalty in the state? Yea or nay?