Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Legislative activity breaking out all over!

Although much of it is under the radar screen, there's lot of stuff happening on the legislative front in terms of the death penalty. Here's a quick rundown -- I know I'm leaving important stuff out, so please accept my apologies in advance:

In Arkansas, the Senate has passed a bill abolishing the juvenile death penalty. Similar bills are under consideration in Florida, New Hampshire, Texas and, perhaps, Nevada. Another juvenile death penalty bill died (for this session) in Virginia.

In Georgia and Oklahoma, legislators are being asked to approve moratorium legislation.

In Texas, a slew of death penalty-related bills have been filed. Perhaps the most likely to pass is a measure giving juries the alternative of life without parole. Another bill that could stand a chance of passage would require the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to actually meet in person (gasp!) to consider clemency requests.

In both Kansas and New York, efforts to reinstate the death penalty have failed. This is a major coup for our side and speaks to the strength of our local organizers.

That's it for now but I'm sure I'll be back with more updates.

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