HELENA (AP) — Members of a House committee heard emotional testimony on a bill that would end the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without parole to save taxpayers the expense of such cases and prevent the possible death of a wrongfully convicted person.
Marietta Jager Lane supports the bill even after her 7-year-old daughter was kidnapped in 1973, repeatedly raped, killed and dismembered. She told the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that her daughter deserves a more honorable memorial than the state-sanctioned premeditated killing of another person.
Republican Rep. Tom Berry of Roundup, whose 17-year-old son was kidnapped and shot in the head six times in 2000, says the threat of the death penalty spared his family the anguish of a trial.
The committee is expected to take action on Feb. 22.