Pricey Harrison

Friday, June 03, 2005

Vote On Two-Year Moratorium On Executions Delayed

House Democratic leaders hoped for a full House vote Wednesday on a two-year ban on executions, but then delayed it until later this month. Speaker Black decided to focus on the "crossover" deadline and on the House budget, which needs to be finalized by the middle of June, before bringing the bill up for a vote. He remains committed to debating the moratorium bill in the House and will continue to work with supporters to win enough votes for passage.

Momentum had appeared to swing toward moratorium proponents Tuesday after a House judiciary committee voted 8-6 to approve a two-year pause to allow for an examination of capital punishment's fairness. If approved, the bill provides that murder trials, convictions, sentencing and the appeals process would continue during the two-year moratorium. It was noted that a limited number of inmates would be affected during a two-year pause.

Supporters of the moratorium bill point to the recent exonerations of Alan Gell and Darryl Hunt, who spent a combined 28 years in prison for crimes they did not commit.

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