Wednesday, 14 February 2007

A Wave of State Legislative Activity - UPDATED

A Wave of State Legislative Activity - UPDATED

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This updated post has reports from Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The Rocky Mountain News has an editorial, "A mythical penalty," urging abolition of the death penalty in that state. Last week, a Colorado House committee voted to abolish capital punishment.

The U.S. Justice Department is defending the practice of seeking the death penalty in jurisdictions such as the District where local law bars capital punishment, including in the ongoing trial of a D.C. man accused of being an enforcer for a violent drug gang.

"The Department of Justice has a protocol that ensures that the federal death penalty is applied uniformly throughout the country, regardless of the local laws," acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Hertling wrote in a letter to Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's nonvoting member of Congress.

Mrs. Norton, a Democrat, wrote a letter last month to the office of U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor criticizing its pursuit of the death penalty in the trial of Larry Gooch.

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