More and more people every day are joining the abolition movement.
And more and more of them are conservative leaders. Just recently, a new organization called Montana Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty publicly called for the state to abandon the death penalty in favor of life in prison without parole. Some members oppose the death penalty on religious grounds, others because it is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
The group's statement was in response to the ACLU's recent victory in its case against Montana's lethal injection protocol. A district court judge recently ruled that protocol unconstitutional because it violates the state and federal constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment in two ways and it does not comply with the state's death penalty statute.
Judge Jeffrey Sherlock said these issues could be fixed with a new protocol and a new statute, but, already, some legislators are saying they will fight a new death penalty statute.
One of those legislators is Republican Rep. Christy Clark of Choteau, a member of Montana Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.
Clark told the Choteau Acantha that she will sponsor a bill to repeal the death penalty and replace it with life without the possibility of parole. “It is time for conservatives to do what they do best and insist that a wasteful, inefficient government program gets off the books,” she said. “Small government and the death penalty don’t go together.”