Abolition advocates optimistic about death penalty bill


MISSOULA, Mont. - Death penalty abolitionists say this is the year that will see capital punishment ended in Montana.

The state currently has two inmates on death row: William Jay Gollehon, sentenced to death in 1992 for beating a fellow inmate to death at the Montana State Prison, and Ronald Allen Smith, who admitted to murdering two young Native Americans from Browning, MT, more than 30 years ago.

On Monday the Montana Abolition Coalition will unveil a new bi-partisan bill that would replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Advocates have introduced similar bills before, but they think this year they have enough support to get it passed.

"We have support from both parties. It's truly a non-partisan issue. It resonates with people of faith. It resonates with civil liberty groups. It resonates with people who are fed up with big government programs," said Cascade Tuholske, Western Organizing Coordinator for the Montana Abolition Coalition.

On Friday, the Abolition Coalition will be sending a bus from Missoula to Helena for people to learn about the bill and meet the legislators sponsoring it. For more information, click here.

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