- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 23, 2001

RICHMOND The September 11 attacks have prompted politicians in Virginia and elsewhere to look again to the ultimate punishment, creating concern among death penalty opponents that obtaining a moratorium this year is out of the question.
"They were winning a few votes before. Now I think it would be impossible for them to get a moratorium," said Attorney General-elect Jerry W. Kilgore, who earlier this month announced that he will push for legislation that would subject the "evil masterminds" of deadly attacks to the state's death penalty.
"So often it is easier to prosecute in a state setting versus a federal setting," said Mr. Kilgore, who has worked as a prosecutor in both venues. Virginia law imposes the death penalty for terrorism only on those carrying out the acts, not those who plan them.
Mr. Kilgore said his move was prompted in part by the demands of constituents who approached him as he campaigned after September 11.
He is not alone. Other states also are seeking to follow the examples of New York and North Carolina, both of which expanded their death penalty statutes after the attacks.
Other states with the death penalty including Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana and New Jersey also have been considering expansion bills to their death penalty laws, according to Robert E. Jones, manager of the Louisiana-based Moratorium Campaign.


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