Montana's State Senate passed a vote to abolish capitol punishment in Montana. The legislators weighed the cost of the procedure along with the possibility of killing innocent people to come to their decision. Do you think we still need to enforce capitol punishment as a deterrent against terrible crimes or is jail time enough?

Associated Press - Billings Gazette

HELENA — In a close vote, the state Senate on Monday endorsed a bill to repeal the death penalty for the second straight legislative session.

Senate Bill 185 was supported in a 26-24 vote, with all the chamber's Democrats along with four Republicans arguing that it's time to get rid of the punishment in favor of life in prison without parole.

Lawmakers opposed to the measure argued that capital punishment still serves a necessary purpose.

Sen. David Wanzenried, the Missoula Democrat carrying the bill, said the death penalty is not fair and argued the punishment does not bring closure for victims nor does it serve as a deterrent to murder.

"Our current system can't be made fair and it can't be made infallible," Wanzenried said.

Supporters of repeal argued that the risk of putting an innocent person to death is too high, the punishment is disproportionally levied against minorities and the poor, and the financial cost of the death penalty procedure is too great.

Full story at