Tell the Committee to vote YES!

Thank you for all your work so far to pass House Bill 370, which proposes to abolish the death penalty and replace it with life without parole.   On Friday, February 22nd, the House Judiciary Committee will vote on whether to pass the bill on to the floor of the House of Representatives for a […]

Death penalty is bad public policy

I want to thank my colleagues and friends, Sen. Matt Rosendale and Rep. Doug Kary, for taking the lead in the efforts to abolish the death penalty in favor of life without the possibility of parole. Before I became a legislator, I was the “hang ’em high” type. But soon after being elected to the […]

Replace death penalty with lifetime in prison

I was very pleased with the intelligent and well reasoned opinion of Sen. Rosendale and Rep. Kary in the Feb. 8 Gazette. If we set aside our gut feeling that terrible crimes must be punished with death, we can learn from the fact that the death penalty is not helpful to anyone. It does not […]

Death penalty fails victims’ families

By LAVONNE HOHN A recent Associated Press article that was published in this paper and others across the state mentioned House Bill 370, a bill that replaces Montana’s death penalty with life without parole. As someone who has experienced the devastating murder of a loved one first hand, I know that the issue of capital […]

Death penalty does not deter murderers

HB 370 will replace the death penalty with life without parole. Facts show the death penalty is not a deterrent and is not cost effective. The death penalty generates notoriety for the murderer, and the media profits. Millions are spent for appeals that drag on for an average of 18 years. Meanwhile, the victim’s family […]

Replace the death penalty

Feb. 14 was an exciting day. House Bill 370, which proposes to abolish the death penalty and replace it with life without parole, was heard on Valentine’s Day in the House Judiciary Committee. After years of trying to fix the death penalty, Montanans are ready to just get rid of it. People from both sides […]

Bill seeking death penalty abolition inspires emotional testimony

HELENA — Some families of murder victims lined up opposite side of a bill Thursday to abolish the death penalty in Montana and replace it with life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. Some religious leaders also were divided on House Bill 370, by Rep. Doug Kary, R-Billings, at a long, emotional hearing before the […]

Emotions run high in hearing on bill to abolish death penalty

HELENA — In 1973, Marietta Jager Lane’s 7-year-old daughter, Susie, was abducted in the night from a Montana campground. Over the course of a week, Susie Jager’s captor repeatedly raped her before strangling her and dismembering her body. In 2000, Rep. Tom Berry’s 17-year-old son was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, and eventually shot in the head […]

Should Montana drop the death penalty?

The House Judiciary Committee heard an hour of testimony each for supporters and opponents of a measure seeking to abolish Montana’s death penalty, HB 370. We told you about this bill sponsored by Republicans and Democrats last week. Sponsor Representative Doug Kary (R-Billings) says the death penalty is “wasting millions of dollars on less than a […]

Man tells of close brush with execution over false charge

HELENA — Ron Keine was nine days away from being executed in the gas chamber in New Mexico in the mid-1970s for kidnapping, murder and other crimes he didn’t commit. He eventually was exonerated after the real murderer confessed to a minister who persuaded him to go to the police. The Michigan resident testified before […]