Legislation introduced that could repeal the death penalty

CHEYENNE, Wyo (RELEASE) - Laramie County Representative Jared Olsen (HD-11) and Converse County Senator Brian Boner (SD-02) teamed up this week to introduce legislation that repeals the death penalty in Wyoming.

Image Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice / MGN

“While we must continue to be tough on crime and keep victims at the forefront of our minds, the death penalty has been found to be ineffective and expensive,” said Representative Olsen. “Having the death penalty on the table is a costly endeavor. The WyomingPublic Defender spends approximately $750,000 every year in taxpayer money to staff and fund capital cases.”

“Wyoming has not carried out an execution in 27 years and does not have a single inmate on death row, yet we continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to maintain the death penalty,” said Senator Boner. “I believe the availability of a lifewithout parole sentence adequately balances the need to protect public safety while recognizing the need to reduce the strain on taxpayer resources.”

House Bill 145, Death Penalty Repeal-2, was introduced in the Wyoming State Legislature this week by Representative Olsen and Senator Boner. Speaker Steve Harshman, House Majority Leader Eric Barlow, and House Majority Whip Tyler Lindholm have allsigned on as cosponsors. Additional bill sponsors include Senator Liisa Anselmi-Dalton, Senator Bill Landen, Senator Stephan Pappas, and Senator Chris Rothfuss along with Representative Landon Brown, Representative Donald Burkhart, Jr., Representative CathyConnolly, Representative JoAnn Dayton-Selman, Representative Jamie Flitner, Representative David Miller, Representative Charles Pelkey, Representative Andy Schwartz and Representative Sue Wilson.

The legislation would repeal the death penalty in Wyoming, making life without parole the most severe sentence available. The fiscal note on the bill, completed by the nonpartisan Legislative Service Office, estimates the elimination of the death penalty wouldsave the State of Wyoming approximately $750,000 in expenditures in FY2020 alone.