40 Wyoming Legislators Sponsor Bill to Repeal Death Penalty
Forty Wyoming legislators have signed off on a bill to repeal the death penalty in the state.
House Bill 166, which was filed Tuesday, is primarily sponsored by Cheyenne Republican Jared Olsen. If passed, the bill would strike the death penalty as a punishment from the state's criminal code.
Currently, Wyoming only one person facing the death penalty.
“As conservatives, we simply do not trust the government to get it right and the number of people freed from deaths rows backs us up, which is why we numbered the bill 166,” Olsen said in a written statement. “And as fiscal conservatives, we cannot justify spending about a million dollars a year on a program our state has not used in nearly three decades.”
HB166 has garnered bipartisan support in both houses. Speaker of the House Steve Harshman, R-Casper, is a co-sponsor along with Minority Floor Leader Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie.
In the more conservative Senate, none of the leadership is sponsoring the bill. Senate Minority Floor Leader Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, is co-sponsor.
During last year's legislative session, a death penalty repeal bill failed to make it out of the House with 12 of the chamber's 30 legislators voting in favor of doing away with capital punishment in Wyoming.
However, the bill only had a fraction of the sponsors.