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 of the aisle are supporting this bill, especially since the Great Falls Tribune came out in support of it.

The death penalty is costing Montanans literally millions of dollars every time it’s used. Much less costly is a life sentence without possibility of parole. It sounds more expensive, but it isn’t, because a death sentence requires two complete trials, and numerous appeals, using specially trained lawyers from out of state. The average death sentence process takes 14 years.

A life sentence without parole allows the victim’s family members, and the perpetrator’s family to move on with their lives, without worry of more media, or more digging up of terrifying memories. And it allows the possibility of redemption for the perpetrator, perhaps one reason why all the major Christian church organizations stand behind this change.

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