Monday, April 20, 2009

Gov. Richardson, Activists Honored in Rome After New Mexico Repeals Death Penalty

Democracy Now, April 20, 2009

Mexico became the second state in the country to repeal the death penalty last month. After years of struggle by campaigners, the repeal was approved by the New Mexico Senate in February and the House in March. Governor Richardson and the state’s leading campaigners were honored at a ceremony at the Colosseum in Rome last week and met with the Pope. We speak with two anti-death penalty campaigners just back from Italy.

We turn now to a major victory in New Mexico, which, last month, become the second state in the country to repeal the death penalty. After years of struggle by campaigners, the repeal was approved by the New Mexico Senate in February and the House in March. Governor Bill Richardson, who had previously supported capital punishment, signed the bill into law on March 18th, calling it the “most difficult decision” in his political life.

New Jersey was the first state to repeal the death penalty in 2007 after the Supreme Court reinstated it in 1976.

Governor Richardson and the state’s leading campaigners were honored at a ceremony at the Colosseum in Rome last week and met with the Pope. The Colosseum is lit up every time a death sentence is commuted or a government bans capital punishment.

I’m joined now here in Albuquerque by two women, just returned from Italy, who have been at the forefront of the fight to end the death penalty in New Mexico.

Representative Gail Chasey is a New Mexico Democratic State Representative from Albuquerque. She has been the leading sponsor of legislation to abolish the death penalty for over 10 years.

Viki Elkey is the Executive Director of the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty.

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1 comment:

mikeb302000 said...

Thanks for posting about this. It's a wonderful story.