Efforts to repeal Wyoming’s death penalty will probably continue despite the Legislature’s decision this week to kill a bill that would have eliminated the penalty, according to a Douglas legislator.
HB 145 would have made life without parole the harshest sentence that could be handed down in criminal cases. The bill was approved by Wyoming’s House, but defeated by the Senate in an 18-12 vote.
Bill co-sponsor Sen. Brian Boner, R-Douglas, said he believes the repeal effort will continue and gain more support in the future.
“As time goes on, I’m sure that we will continue to gain ground and eventually the death penalty will be repealed,” he said.
Supports of the bill had argued that the death penalty is too expensive for the state, given the number of appeals that generally accompany such cases.
Boner attributed the death of the measure this year to legislators who may remember when the death penalty was an effective deterrent to violent crime.
“Especially some of our older members probably remember when the death penalty was effective, when we did use it,” he said. “But that’s no longer the case.”