Capitol Punishment To Become The Big Debate For The 2007 Session?

Governor Rounds’ decision to put Elijah Page’s execution into the hands of the state legislature next Winter could again spark the debate as to whether the state should be involved in the execution business in the first place.

Rep. Ryan Olson, R-Onida, another death penalty supporter, said Tuesday’s delay will focus attention on the issue.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that it will be a major issue, not the technicality, but the broader issue of whether South Dakota should continue to support the death penalty,” he said.

Olson said he thinks the majority of South Dakotans favor capital punishment, and he does not think death penalty opponents have enough support to win.

Sen. Jim Peterson, D-Revillo, agrees. Peterson opposes the death penalty.

“I really don’t expect anything will change,” he said. “I’m a pro-life person, and I’m completely pro- life. I don’t believe in the death penalty.”

Just what our legislature needs, another major morality issue to take the focus off of what really needs to be addressed in our state plus another case where Rounds can make the legislature do his dirty work while still being able to keep his hands clean.

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