Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Quote of the day

Today's quote of the day comes from Iowa, where a candidate for governor is trying to garner votes with his call for reinstatement of the death penalty. Scroll down and find the paragraph in bold:

Nussle says he'd push for death penalty as governor

Republican candidate for governor Jim Nussle said Tuesday that reviving the death penalty in Iowa would be one of his legislative priorities next year if he wins the November election.

Although Nussle and his Democratic rival, Chet Culver, each support capital punishment, Culver has said he would not actively push for reinstatement.

Nussle said the issue will be on his crime-fighting agenda, along with beefing up funding and staffing for the Iowa State Patrol and at the state's prisons. "I believe the death penalty should be an option for judges and juries inIowa, in particular for heinous crimes involving felony murder. That's where I believe we should head," Nussle said in an interview. "I think a lot will be determined in the election for the Legislature," Nussle said.

Culver was as the only pro-death penalty candidate in a 4-way Democratic primary contest in June. He sought to de-emphasize the issue then and that hasnt changed, according to his spokesperson Taylor West. She said he favors capital punishment in a limited number of cases, such as the abduction and murder of a child. "He's not running for governor to reinstate the death penalty," West said.

Death penalty proposals have faced an uphill struggle at the Statehouse in recent years. And it's much less likely that the issue will reach the next governor's desk if Democrats succeed in winning control of the Senate, House or both.

Democrats are favored to take over the now evenly-divided Senate, where Republicans are defending 6 open seats this fall. During the past 2 legislative sessions Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs has blocked votes on the death penalty. An analysis by Lee Newspapers and Radio Iowa news in February found that 29 of 50 state senators opposed reinstatement.

Gronstal said it's uncertain whether elections will change the equation. "Republicans are big about talking about the death penalty in October of even-numbered years," Gronstal said. "I expect the Republicans to attempt to make that an issue."
(source: Globe Gazette)

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