Utah seems determined to become the next red state to repeal the death penalty. A measure to end Utah’s capital punishment passed out of committee, and it was approved overwhelmingly in the senate chamber’s first vote on the proposal. Amber Phillips from the Washington Post has been following the story and reporting on it. She interviewed the bill’s chief sponsor who said,
“It’s wrong for government to be in business in killing its own citizens. That cheapens life.”
Phillips also interviewed me for the piece and wrote,
Marc Hyden with Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty, a group launched in 2013 to advocate for abolishing capital punishment, thinks what’s happening in Utah and Nebraska is a sign that the United States is on the precipice of a movement to do away with the death penalty.
Lawmakers in Kentucky, Kansas, Montana and New Hampshire are reevaluating whether to keep the death penalty on the books this year, he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a few states dump the death penalty” in the next few years, Hyden said.
The final senate vote is expected this Thursday. If it passes, then the house of representatives will have the opportunity to consider the legislation before the end of session.