Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Monday, February 07, 2005

New Contender for Stupidest Bill

The PPH reports that Sen. Jonathan Courtney (R - York) will sponsor a bill seeking to restore the death penalty in Maine for cases of domestic violence that lead to murder. The death penalty is a bad idea in any circumstance (it's not a credible deterrent and the chance of an innocent person being killed is high) but it makes even less sense for the kind of crimes Courtney wants to apply it to.
"There really is no deterrent" in many domestic-violence homicides because the abusers are so obsessed with killing their victims that they are indifferent to the legal consequences, according to Kim Roberts, executive director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.

Maine has had no death penalty since 1887 and is one of six states in which a prisoner serving a life sentence is not eligible for parole.

Visit the new Maine Politics.


Besides the moral/ethical arguments against the death penalty, there's also a financial one. As you rightly say, Maine hasn't executed anyone since the 1880s. It would be incredibly expensive to restart the program and countless studies have shown that the infrastructure and judicial costs associated with the death penalty are far greater than for life sentences.

It's a bad bill in so many ways. 

Posted by David

2/08/2005 12:22:00 PM


You're right david. Here's a bit more from the article:

"The Legislature has a long history of rejecting capital punishment, including bills in recent years that would have reinstated the death penalty for cop killers or child murderers."

Why does he think we'll bring it back for domestic violence? 

Posted by Mike

2/08/2005 06:56:00 PM



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