Greetings WAC Community,
Panel to Discuss Abolishing Wyoming’s Death Penalty
A proposed bill abolishing the death penalty in Wyoming will be considered in the current legislative session, and will be the topic at a program on January 17, 2015, from 1:30 to 3:30 in the Cottonwood Room at the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne at 2200 Pioneer Avenue. The public is invited to attend and participate.
Local attorney David Serelson will be on hand to discuss issues of the constitutionality of the death penalty, as well as its history. Attorney Aaron J. Lyttle, who represented Andrew Johnson, a local man who served 23 years in prison for a sexual assault he did not commit, will discuss wrongful convictions and how they occur. Father Carl Gallinger will also be on hand to provide his thoughts on the bill. The panel will be moderated by Terry J. Harris of Harris and Harris, PC.
In September, the Joint Judiciary Committee rejected the proposed bill to abolish the death penalty. At that time, the proposal was defeated despite gaining a 7-6 majority vote from the committee. Committee rules require bills to receive a majority of both the House and Senate members.
In recent years, a growing number of states have rejected the death penalty as a sentencing option. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, in 2014, just seven states carried out executions, and three states (Texas, Missouri, and Florida) accounted for 80% of those executions. The number of states carrying out executions was the lowest in 25 years. Notably, seven people were exonerated from death row in 2014, including three men in Ohio, who were cleared of all charges 39 years after their convictions. There have now been 150 people exonerated from death row since 1973.
A 2014 Washington Post-ABC News poll found, for the first time, that a majority of Americans favored life without parole over the death penalty.
For additional information, please contact:
Chesie Lee, Executive Director for the Wyoming Association of Churches, (307)761-755, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Donna Adler, Office of the Legislative Liaison and Communication Director, Diocese of Cheyenne,
This event is being co-sponsored by the Wyoming Association of Churches and the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne.
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