- Associated Press - Friday, September 5, 2014

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A state legislative committee plans to discuss next week whether to sponsor one bill that would abolish the death penalty in Wyoming and another that would introduce the firing squad as an option for execution.

Joint Judiciary Interim Committee member Rep. Keith Gingery of Jackson said he expects animated debate over the death penalty when the committee meets Thursday in Laramie.

“My guess is we will vote out the firing squad one, that will move on,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll get enough votes for getting rid of the death penalty. That’s our last meeting of the year, so it either happens or it doesn’t happen.”

Another committee member, Rep. Stephen Watt of Rock Springs, said he opposes the death penalty. He also opposes the firing squad idea, recalling the time he was shot five times in a 1982 confrontation as a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper.

“I don’t care that it’s a fraction of a second. It hurts tremendously. It’s cruel and unusual to subject another person to that,” Watt told the Casper Star-Tribune (https://bit.ly/WmE5Fq).



Chesie Lee, executive director of the Wyoming Association of Churches, said he will address the committee in support of repealing the death penalty.

“Revenge is not what we’re called to do,” she said. “It’s not that we oppose punishment altogether, but revenge is not the answer.”

___

Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com

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