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Death Penalty Legislation in States

Here are a few notes on legislation on the death penalty in several states.

In Delaware, a bill to repeal the death penalty came up a vote short to get out of committee.  Representative John Atkins has this letter in the Cape Gazette.

In New Hampshire, a repeal bill squeaked out of committee on a 3-2 vote and heads to the floor of the Senate.  Supporters of the bill claim that it will apply prospectively only and not effect the death sentence of cop-killer Michael Addison, the state's lone death-sentenced inmate.  If the bill does pass, I would bet every penny I have that the death penalty opponents will then join Addison's efforts to claim that the bill does require his sentence to be set aside.  We already saw this in Connecticut.

Some years ago, the North Carolina legislature passed a stealth repeal by playing the race card and enacting legislation that enabled death row inmates to have their sentences overturned by producing statistics on race and the death penalty that don't actually prove anything.  The Death Penalty Quota Act (misnamed the Racial Justice Act) was repealed when persons of sense regained control of the legislature, but cases decided in a lower court before repeal were argued yesterday in the North Carolina Supreme Court. Martha Waggoner has this story for AP.

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