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March 10 2009 | UNITED STATES

USA/New Mexico

Death penalty's abolition, it takes just the Senate's approval. Governor's green light quite expected

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NM Senate committee OKs death penalty repeal


SANTA FE, N.M. – Legislation abolishing New Mexico's death penalty has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee — its highest hurdle yet — and is headed to the full Senate for a vote.

It already has passed the House, so if it were approved by the Senate without change, it would go to the governor for his signature.

The bill replaces capital punishment with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. There have been serious repeal efforts in New Mexico over the past decade, but no bill has gotten this far.

"It's been a long time coming," Michelle Giger, a founder of Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation, said Monday after the judiciary panel's 6-5 vote.

"We don't want it. We don't need it. It doesn't work. So let's get rid of it," added Giger, whose father was fatally shot by a drifter in Santa Rosa in 1984.

New Mexico has executed one person since 1960. There are two men on death row whose sentences would be unaffected by the repeal.

Gov. Bill Richardson has supported the death penalty in the past but has said he would consider signing a repeal bill if it reached his desk.

Sam Millsap, a former prosecutor from Texas, told the judiciary panel he no longer supports the death penalty because the judicial system is too imperfect to ensure that the innocent are always protected. New Mexico courts, like those of Texas, "are not infallible," he told lawmakers.

District attorneys oppose the repeal, arguing that the death penalty is a deterrent to murder.

Senate Republican Whip William Payne, of Albuquerque, said life-without-parole sentences could endanger the correctional officers who must oversee convicted murderers.

"We may lock them up for life, but we don't lock them away from people for life," he said.

Another repeal opponent, Sen. Richard Martinez, D-Espanola, said there is no evidence any innocent person has been executed in New Mexico.

Under the repeal proposal, convicted murders may be imprisoned "but they're alive and they're doing as they please," Martinez said.


October 15 2016

Human rights activist asks Pope to discuss the death penalty with Lukashenka

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus", has sent a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to touch upon the issue of capital punishment during his meeting with President Lukashenka.
October 10 2016
October 10,14th World Day Against the Death Penalty

On the 14th world day against the death penalty a conference entitled "No Justice Without Life" will be held in Japan

July 2 2016
Address and the Final Ceremony by Mario Marazziti. Nobel Peace Prize Room, City Hall. June 23rd 2016

CITIES FOR LIFE – CITIES AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo

by Mario Marazziti
June 25 2016

Pope Francis: “Death penalty is unacceptable”

Pope Francis addresses the authorities, the associations, the activists and the civil society gathered in Oslo on the occasion of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty through a video message.
June 21 2016
The 6th Congress Against the Death Penalty opens today in Oslo

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes part in the congress with delegations from Italy, Congo, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Indonesia

1500 attendants coming from over 80 countries. Among them, 20 ministers, 200 diplomats, members of different parliaments, scholars, lawyers, members of various associations and civil society actors
May 25 2016
"The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo

Church and civil society against new executions

Jakarta is among the 15 cities in Indonesia where in the past years the event "Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty" was held, organized by Sant'Egidio in over two thousand municipalities in the five continents
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June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
May 23 2016

Malaysian death row convict loses final appeal in Singapore
May 23 2016

Vescovo filippino: È presto per giudicare il contraddittorio Duterte. No alla pena di morte
May 14 2016

Pfizer blocca i farmaci per la pena di morte negli Usa
May 14 2016
La Stampa

Pena di morte, Pfizer blocca l’uso dei suoi farmaci per le iniezioni letali negli Usa
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