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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

HB 1245: Repeal Death Penalty in South Dakota

Count on my neighbor Representative Gerald Lange (D-8/Madison) to stand up for principle and good policy. Lange is prime sponsor of House Bill 1245, a measure to repeal South Dakota's death penalty. Thirteen legislators, all Democrats, have signed their name to this bill. I applaud them for having the gumption to look South Dakota's screwed-up, bloodthirsty machismo in the eye and say that killing people, even killing bad people, is wrong.

Here's a quick review of the reasons you should call your legislators and tell them to back HB 1245:
  1. Capital punishment doesn't deter crime.
  2. Capital punishment costs more than life imprisonment.
  3. Capital punishment risks killing innocent people.
  4. Killing prisoners is immoral.
Let's do the right thing for our budget, for justice, and for our souls. Stop state-sponsored killing—pass HB 1245 and repeal the death penalty.


  1. Gerry has always been true to his convictions and consistent on life issues. I applaud him on his efforts again this year and share his belief.

    I would change your last Point to say - the government approving any killing (whether by death penalty or abortion) is morally wrong. In either instance, a life is lost, possibilities of redemption are lost, and as a society we are diminished.

    --Lee Schoenbeck

  2. Thanks Lee.

    I'd have a lot more respect for anti-choice advocates if more of them were as consistent as you are on this.

    I maintain that the approach of reducing abortions by legislation doesn't respect life as much as implementing policies that make it unnecessary is a better approach, and protects women's lives.

    But your consistency opens the door to that kind of useful discussion.

    Thank you for that.

  3. I agree with Gerry Lange 100 percent on this issue. If I were Governor I would never sign a death warrant anyway, law or no law.


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