51 Pro Death Penalty Quotes by Governors from the U.S.A

“Like the vast majority of Texans, I support the death penalty as a fitting and constitutional punishment for the most heinous crimes.  This is a clear violation public trust."

"Our process works, and I don't see anything out there that would merit calling for a moratorium on the Texas death penalty... It's fair and appropriate, and we will continue with it."

In his book “Fed Up,” Perry wrote “If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas.”

Perry recently was asked on the campaign trail how he defends the death penalty, a sentence often criticized for its cost and inefficiency. “In the state of Texas, our citizens have clearly said that they support by overwhelming majority capital punishment,” he said, adding that, if people disagree, they should pass a constitutional amendment to halt the death penalty.

The Republican Candidate Debate; Wednesday 7 September 2011 =

WILLIAMS: Governor Perry, a question about Texas. Your state has executed 234 death row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times. Have you...


Have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent?

PERRY: No, sir. I've never struggled with that at all. The state of Texas has a very thoughtful, a very clear process in place of which -- when someone commits the most heinous of crimes against our citizens, they get a fair hearing, they go through an appellate process, they go up to the Supreme Court of the United States, if that's required.

But in the state of Texas, if you come into our state and you kill one of our children, you kill a police officer, you're involved with another crime and you kill one of our citizens, you will face the ultimate justice in the state of Texas, and that is, you will be executed.

Williams plodded ahead with a sentimental follow-up, asking Perry to react to the fact that members of the audience applauded when hearing Perry has executed 234 individuals. Perry replied, "I think Americans understand justice. I think Americans are clearly, in the vast majority of -- of cases, supportive of capital punishment. When you have committed heinous crimes against our citizens -- and it's a state-by-state issue, but in the state of Texas, our citizens have made that decision, and they made it clear, and they don't want you to commit those crimes against our citizens. And if you do, you will face the ultimate justice.” [The Republican Candidate Debate; Wednesday 7 September 2011]

Explaining in 2004 why he was rejecting clemency and upholding the execution of Kelsey Patterson, Mr. Perry said, “No one can guarantee this defendant would not be freed to commit other crimes were his sentence commuted.” Mr. Patterson would have become eligible for parole at 74.

Rick Perry A.K.A James Richard "Rick" Perry (born March 4, 1950) is the 47th and incumbent Governor of Texas, having held the office since 2000. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Edward Koch, former mayor of New York City, said: "Had the death penalty been a real possibility in the minds of...murderers, they might well have stayed their hand. They might have shown moral awareness before their victims died...Consider the tragic death of Rosa Velez, who happened to be home when a man named Luis Vera burglarized her apartment in Brooklyn. "Yeah, I shot her," Vera admitted. "...and I knew I wouldn't go to the chair."

"It is by exacting the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we affirm the highest value of human life."

I do not believe there is a single case in the United States where academics and law enforcement authorities agree that an innocent person has been put to death. Yes, innocent people have been convicted at trial, but as a result of appeals, they have been exonerated before the sentence was carried out. Even if opponents were to cite such a case, I would still support having the penalty available as an option in particularly heinous murders. The reason being that many more innocent lives would be saved because of the deterrence factor. [The Death Penalty Option: I Support It Posted: 05/ 1/2012 11:02 am in The Huffington Post

Edward Koch (born December 12, 1924) is an American lawyer, politician, and political commentator who was a United States Congressman from 1969 to 1977, and a three-term Mayor of New York City, from 1978 to 1989. He also gained popular notoriety as Judge on The People's Court from 1997 to 1999.

"These hardened criminals never again will murder, rape or deal drugs. As governor, I made sure they received the ultimate punishment - death - and Texas is a safer place for it."

Mark Wells White (born March 17, 1940) is an American lawyer, who served as the 43rd Governor of Texas from January 18,1983-January 20,1987.

Tyler Overman: Hi. This is Tyler Overman from Memphis, Tennessee. And I have a quick question for those of you who would call yourselves Christian conservatives. The death penalty, what would Jesus do?

Cooper: Governor Huckabee?

Huckabee: “You know, one of the toughest challenges that I ever faced as a governor was carrying out the death penalty. I did it more than any other governor ever had to do it in my state. As I look on this stage, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person on this stage that's ever had to actually do it.

Let me tell you, it was the toughest decision I ever made as a human-being. I read every page of every document of every case that ever came before me, because it was the one decision that came to my desk that, once I made it, was irrevocable.

Every other decision, somebody else could go back and overturn, could fix if it was a mistake. That was one that was irrevocable.”

“I believe there is a place for a death penalty. Some crimes are so heinous, so horrible that the only response that we, as a civilized nation, have for a most uncivil action is not only to try to deter that person from ever committing that crime again, but also as a warning to others that some crimes truly are beyond any other capacity for us to fix.”


“Now, having said that, there are those who say, "How can you be pro-life and believe in the death penalty?"

Because there's a real difference between the process of adjudication, where a person is deemed guilty after a thorough judicial process and is put to death by all of us, as citizens, under a law, as opposed to an individual making a decision to terminate a life that has never been deemed guilty because the life never was given a chance to even exist.”

Michael Dale "Mike" Huckabee (born August 24, 1955) served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas and currently hosts the Fox News Channel talk show Huckabee. He was a candidate for president in 2008, finishing second in delegate count and third in popular vote and number of states won (behind John S. McCain and Mitt Romney), in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries. Following losses to John McCain in the Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island primaries, Huckabee exited the race on March 4, 2008 as McCain became the presumptive Republican nominee.

“How come life in prison doesn't mean life? Until it does, we're not ready to do away with the death penalty. Stop thinking in terms of "punishment" for a minute and think in terms of safeguarding innocent people from incorrigible murderers.”

James George Janos (born July 15, 1951), best known as Jesse "The Body" Ventura, is an American politician, former governor of Minnesota, retired professional wrestler and color commentator, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host. As a professional wrestler, he is best known for his tenure in the World Wrestling Federation as a wrestler and color commentator. In 2004, he was inducted into the company's Hall of Fame.

Otter told The Spokesman-Review this week, “I support the death penalty,” adding that it’s an issue he’s given a lot of thought to “all my life.”

“I think that as our criminal justice system … suggests, people have to be held responsible, and sometimes it’s to the max, and this is one of those cases,” Otter said. “They have to be held accountable for their actions.” [Saturday 12 November 2011 – Referring to Paul Ezra Rhoades]

Butch Otter A.K.A Clement Leroy "Butch" Otter (born May 3, 1942) is the 32nd and current Governor of Idaho since  January 2007 and is a member of the Republican Party. Otter previously represented the state's First Congressional District. Otter was the longest serving Lieutenant Governor of Idaho, holding office from 1987-2001. He is the first Idahoan since statehood to win elections as both a United States Representatives and as a governor. He is the third Catholic to serve as Governor of Idaho and the first to win election since James H. Hawley in 1910.

Romney's bill is based on the recommendations of the 11-member Governor's Council on Capital Punishment, which issued its findings last year.

Specifically, the legislation will allow a jury to impose the death penalty for first-degree murders that were committed as an act of political terrorism or against a law enforcement officer, a judge, a juror, a prosecutor, an attorney or a witness for the purpose of obstructing an ongoing criminal proceeding; that involved prolonged torture or a murder spree; or where the defendant had already been convicted of first-degree murder or was serving a life sentence without parole.

To ensure that only the guilty are put to death, the proposal mandates an unprecedented level of scientific evidence.  Before the death penalty can be imposed, conclusive scientific evidence must link the defendant to the crime scene, the murder weapon or the victim's body.

In addition, an independent scientific review of the physical evidence must be completed before any capital sentence is carried out.   This review should ensure that the evidence is collected, handled, evaluated, analyzed, interpreted and preserved according to the highest standards of the medical and scientific community.

"Just as science can free the innocent, it can also identify the guilty," Romney said.

“The weakness in the death penalty statutes in other states, of course, is the fear that you may execute someone who is innocent,” Romney said in 2004. “We remove that possibility.”

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday 10 July 2012 asserted that the death penalty prevented "the most heinous crimes."

During a town hall event in Grand Junction, Colorado, a man who identified himself as "the local D.A." asked Romney to respond to a recent Supreme Court ruling that banned mandatory life sentences for minors who are convicted of murder.

Instead of taking a position on the Supreme Court ruling, the former Massachusetts governor took the opportunity to express his support for capital punishment.

"I realize that this wasn't a death penalty case ... but I happen to believe that the death penalty tends to prevent some of the most heinous crimes," Romney said, pausing for the audience to cheer.

"And I also believe that the prison terms that are of the nature you describe can also prevent some of the most heinous crimes from occurring," the candidate continued. "I believe in this case, the Supreme Court was looking at the age of the offender. Boy, I'll tell you, a 17 year old, a setting like that just breaks my heart. I'll look at the particular case."

"But I can tell you, I'm someone who comes down on the side of swift and severe punishment for those who commit these serious crimes."

In trying to set a new and higher bar, Romney also was chasing two political goals.

The first was to fulfill a promise, made during his 2002 run for governor, to try to reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts, then one of a dozen states that had banned the punishment. The second was to burnish his conservative resume as he looked ahead to 2008 and his first run for president.

"We believe that the capital punishment bill that we put forward is not only right for Massachusetts, but it's a model for the nation," Romney said at the time, in comments similar to what he said about his overhaul of the state health insurance system. That law became a blueprint for the sweeping federal health care overhaul enacted by President Barack Obama, which has become an issue in the White House race.

Highlights of the death penalty bill Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney filed as Massachusetts governor in 2005. The bill would have:

- Limited capital punishment to people convicted of terrorism, multiple murders, killing law enforcement officers and murder involving torture.

- Required conclusive scientific evidence, such as DNA, linking the suspect to the crime scene.

- Mandated a scientific review of the physical evidence before an execution was carried out.

- Established a "no doubt" standard which meant that even after a guilty verdict was rendered, the death penalty could not be imposed if any juror harbored the slightest doubt about the defendant's guilt.

- Required two trials, one to determine guilt and the second to decide whether to impose the death penalty.

- Required an automatic review by the Supreme Judicial Court.

- Barred the execution of anyone who was younger than 18 at the time of the crime.

- Required the creation of a list of "capital case qualified" defense attorneys to represent any defendant facing the death penalty.

- Created a commission to review complaints and investigate errors.

Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and Republican Party politician, who served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.

Wednesday 6 July 2011 – Gov. Dave Heineman expressed frustration Wednesday that seemingly less concern is shown for the victims of murder than those condemned to die for such slayings.

“I find it frustrating, and I’m a bit angry that we’re worried about the cruel and unusual punishment about these criminals convicted of first-degree murder,” he said. “I don’t hear them express any remorse about their victims and their families. So no, I'm more determined than ever" to make sure the executions are carried out.”


Monday 9 January 2012 - Gov. Dave Heineman sees much more behind the latest legal paperwork filed to keep Michael Ryan from being executed.

Heineman asserts that the latest filing by defense attorney Jerry Soucie isn’t as much about Ryan as it is about preventing Nebraska from carrying out the death penalty. Soucie claims in a motion filed with the Nebraska Supreme Court that the state didn’t appropriately and legally acquire its latest batch of sodium thiopental, the first of three drugs used in lethal injection.

Heineman says Ryan’s legal team hopes to undermine the state’s ability to carry our executions.

“This is about whether we’re going to have a death penalty or not in this state,” according to Heineman. “And all those who are opposed to it are trying to think of every reason known to mankind to delay it.”

The Swiss pharmaceutical company, Naari, claims it never intended to sell sodium thiopental to be used in lethal injections. The state Attorney General has filed paperwork claiming that the drug was appropriately and legally obtained.

Heineman asserts the latest filing by Ryan’s attorneys have a bigger agenda in mind.

“But what this is all about from the other side is they’re trying to make sure we don’t have a death penalty,” Heineman says. “Most Nebraskans agree with me that we need to have one.”

Ryan, a former religious cult leader, has been sentenced to death for the 1985 torture and killing of James Thimm, a member of his religious cult in Rulo. Ryan has also been convicted of 5-year-old Luke Stice, the son of a cult member. Ryn is 63. An execution date has not been set.

David Eugene "Dave" Heineman (born May 12, 1948) is the 39th and current Governor of Nebraska. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Strickland doesn't support an additional sweeping review.  "I would caution against setting up sort of an extra-judicial process to replace what is a very understood and rigorous approach to these matters," he told The Dispatch"I've got an obligation to carry out the law," the Democratic governor said. "I try to do that extremely carefully. Any death-penalty cases we've dealt with since I've become governor have been given much scrutiny and analysis."

Ted Strickland (born August 4, 1941), a Democrat, is the 68th and current Governor of the state of Ohio. Before his election in 2006, he served six terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio’s 6th district.

“Capital punishment gives killers good cause to fear arrest and conviction.”

George Elmer Pataki (born June 24, 1945) is an American politician who was the 53rd Governor of New York. A member of the Republican Party, Pataki served three consecutive four-year terms from January 1, 1995 until December 31, 2006.

Graham supports capital punishment as a deterrent, maintaining that it is "not inconsistent with Christian values." Said he, while signing the death warrants: "There are other values of life involved here, including the value of the lives that were taken."

Bob Graham A.K.A Daniel Robert "Bob" Graham (born November 9, 1936) is an American politician. He was the 38th Governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States Senator from that state from 1987 to 2005. Following a failed bid for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2004 presidential race, Graham was considered a possible running mate for John Kerry. Graham dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on October 6, 2003 and announced his retirement from the Senate on November 3, 2003. Graham is now concentrating his efforts on the newly established Bob Graham Center for Public Service at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Florida. He also serves as Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism and advocates for the recommendations in the Commission report, World at Risk.

"When a monster rapes and murders a child or a criminal kills a police officer, the death penalty should be an option for the jury. That's why I'm calling on the legislature to repeal and reinstate the death penalty."


Susana Martinez (born July 14, 1959) is the 31st and current governor of New Mexico. A Republican, Martinez is the first female governor of New Mexico, as well as the first Latina (Hispanic woman) governor in the United States. She was formerly the district attorney for the 3rd Judicial District of the U.S. state of New Mexico. The district encompasses Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey noted that Massachusetts is one of only 12 states that do not have a capital punishment sentencing option.

"Massachusetts should no longer be in the minority of states when it comes to deterring first-degree murder," said Healey.  "The death penalty should be available for a narrow set of crimes that we all can agree deserve the ultimate punishment."

Kerry Murphy Healey (born April 30, 1960) was the 70th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. She served from 2003 to 2007 with Governor Mitt Romney. She was the 2006 Republican nominee for Governor of Massachusetts, losing to Democrat Deval Patrick in November 2006. She currently serves as a TV Host on New England Sports Network.

"In Virginia, there has long been broad public support for capital punishment as the ultimate penalty for only the most heinous crimes. Our criminal-justice system provides for multiple hearings, safeguards and appeals to ensure that the penalty is employed properly and justly."

Robert Francis "Bob" McDonnell (born June 15, 1954) is the 71st and current Governor of Virginia and a former lieutenant colonel in the United States Army. McDonnell served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1993 until he was elected Attorney General in 2005. After campaigning as a pragmatist, McDonnell was elected as the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, defeating Democratic state Senator Creigh Deeds by a 17-point margin in the 2009 general election. McDonnell was inaugurated on January 16, 2010, on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol to succeed Tim Kaine. McDonnell's term expires in January 2014, and the Virginia Constitution prevents him from running for a second consecutive term.

North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue on Thursday 28 June 2012, vetoed legislation passed by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature to roll back a landmark law allowing death row inmates to use evidence of racial bias to challenge their sentences.

The state's Racial Justice Act, passed in 2009, directs judges to cut a death sentence to life in prison if race is found to be a factor in jury composition or sentencing.

Perdue, a Democrat, said it was a long overdue step to make sure racism did not infect the way the death penalty was carried out. "As long as I am governor, I will fight to make sure the death penalty stays on the books in North Carolina,' Perdue said in announcing the veto.

"But it has to be carried out fairly — free of prejudice."  

Bev Perdue A.K.A Beverly Eaves "Bev" Perdue (born January 14, 1947) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party currently serving as the 73rd Governor of the U.S state of North Carolina. She is the first female governor of North Carolina. Perdue started her political career in the 1980s, serving in the North Carolina House of Representatives. She then served 5 terms in the North Carolina Senate before she was elected as the 32nd Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina. Perdue was elected to the office of Governor of North Carolina in 2008 against then-Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory by a 50-46 margin. Her 2008 gubernatorial campaign is under both State and Federal investigation, and was recently fined $30,000 in 2010. When Hillary Clinton dropped out of the 2008 presidential race The New York Times mentioned Perdue as a potential future presidential candidate. On January 26, 2012, facing climbing disapproval and sinking approval ratings, Perdue announced that she would not seek reelection in the 2012 gubernatorial election.

On October 2009, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reacted to a report from the Death Penalty Information Center shows that states like California waste $137 million a year because of the long process taken by the death penalty: "Well first of all, as you know, this is something that the people have voted on, so it's not a decision that is just made here in this Capitol. Number two, I think that, you know, justice, it's worth the money no matter what budget crunch we are in. And so I think we're going to continue with that until the people have changed their mind here in California and want to, you know, get rid of the death penalty. So I think until that point we will continue. The key thing is to make it more efficient, to speed up the process and that, I think, is something that we are going to work on."

"Stanley Williams insists he is innocent, and that he will not and should not apologise or otherwise atone for the murders of the four victims in this case.

"Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings there can be no redemption.

"Based on the cumulative weight of the evidence, there is no reason to second guess the jury's decision of guilt or raise significant doubts or serious reservations about Williams' convictions and death sentence."

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian American bodybuilder, actor, model, businessman, and politician who served as the 38th Governor of California. Schwarzenegger began weight training at 15. He was awarded the title of Mr. Universe at age 20 and went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest a total of seven times. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent presence in the sport of bodybuilding and has written several books and numerous articles on the sport. Schwarzenegger gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon, noted for his lead roles in such films as Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator and Commando. He was nicknamed the "Austrian Oak" and the "Styrian Oak" in his bodybuilding days, "Arnie" during his acting career and more recently the "Governator" (a portmanteau of "Governor" and "Terminator").As a Republican, he was first elected on October 7, 2003, in a special recall election (referred to in Schwarzenegger campaign propaganda as a "Total Recall") to replace then-Governor Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger was sworn in on November 17, 2003, to serve the remainder of Davis's term. Schwarzenegger was then re-elected on November 7, 2006, in California's 2006 gubernatorial election, to serve a full term as governor, defeating Democrat Phil Angelides, who was California State Treasurer at the time. Schwarzenegger was sworn in for his second term on January 5, 2007. Democrat Jerry Brown was elected to succeed him in 2010 and assumed the post in January 2011.

“I must confess that probably some of the most ardent capital punishment advocates are people like me who have seen up close and person the flotsam, the jetsam of those who horribly, cruelly treat other people.”


“I think there should be a moral certainty standard, which I apply to myself. If I don’t have in these cases a confession or physical evidence, if I don’t have that even higher standard than proof beyond a reasonable doubt, I’m willing and do commute. But once that standard is established in my own mind – and this is not easy, because you’re dealing with another human being – if that standard is applied, I with no hesitation can deny clemency, because I believe if we love and elevate human life -- that means innocent human life -- for those who would intentionally, with malice, with violence, take another human being’s life, that person has forfeited the right to live."

Francis Anthony "Frank" Keating (born February 10, 1944) is an American politician from Oklahoma. Keating served as the 25th Governor of Oklahoma. His first term began in 1995 and ended in 1999. Keating won reelection to a second term, which ended in 2003. As of 2009, Keating is the second Governor in Oklahoma history to hold consecutive terms and the only Republican to accomplish that feat.

Senator Feinstein has described the same deterrent effect at work in San Francisco. She has stated:

There has been a lot of discussion as to whether the death penalty is or is not a deterrent. But I remember well in the 1960s, when I was sentencing a woman convicted of robbery in the first degree, and I remember looking at her commitment sheet and I saw that she carried a weapon that was unloaded into a grocery store robbery. I asked her the question: ‘Why was the gun unloaded?’

She said to me: ‘So I would not panic, kill somebody, and get the death penalty.’ That was firsthand testimony directly to me that the death penalty in place in California in the sixties was in fact a deterrent.           

141 Cong. Rec. S7662 (June 5, 1995).


“In the 1960's, I was appointed to one of the term-setting and paroling authorities and sat on some 5,000 cases of women who were convicted of felonies in the State of California. I remember one woman who came before me because she was convicted of robbery in the first degree, and I noticed on what is called the granny sheet that she had a weapon, but it was unloaded. I asked her the question why was the gun unloaded and she said, so I wouldn’t panic, kill somebody and get the death penalty.

“That case went by and I didn’t think too much of it at the time. I read a lot of books that said the death penalty was not a deterrent. Then in the 1970's, I walked into a mom-and-pop grocery store just after the proprietor, his wife and dog had been shot. People in real life don’t die the way they do on television. There was brain matter on the ceiling, on the canned goods. It was a terrible, terrible scene of carnage.

“I came to remember that woman because by then California had done away with the death penalty. I came to remember the woman who said to me in the 1960's, the gun was unloaded so I wouldn’t panic and kill someone, and suddenly the death penalty came to have new meaning to me as a deterrent.”

Statement of the Honorable Dianne Feinstein, Senator from California, Hearing Before the Senate

Judiciary Committee on S.221 (April 1, 1993).

Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein (pronounced /ˈfaɪnstaɪn/; born June 22, 1933) is the senior U.S. Senator from California and a member of the Democratic Party. Feinstein was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, was re-elected in 1994, 2000 and in 2006 for a term ending in January 2013. She also served as Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988. Feinstein was the first female President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco's first (and, so far, only) female mayor, the first woman to serve in the Senate from California, and the first woman to chair the Senate Rules Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee. Feinstein is also the first woman to have presided over a U.S. presidential inauguration.

A trio of former California governors urged voters on Tuesday 30 October 2012 to preserve the death penalty in the state by defeating a ballot initiative seeking to abolish capital punishment on cost grounds, and a recent poll showed the measure gaining support but falling short of passing.

The initiative, if passed by voters next week, would automatically commute the sentences of 725 death row inmates in California, which has nearly a quarter of the nation's condemned prisoners but has executed none in the last six years.

"Prop. 34 is a horrible injustice," said former Democratic Governor Gray Davis, referring to the ballot proposition. "Like a giant eraser, it would wipe out the death penalty convictions of 700 killers on death row."

Those convicts are responsible for killing 200 children and 43 police officers, said Davis, who was governor from 1999 to 2003 and who was joined in opposing death penalty repeal by former Republican governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian.

"Don't let the bad guys on death row win," Davis said. The governors were joined at a Los Angeles hotel by relatives of murder victims, prosecutors and police officers.

Gray Davis A.K.A Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis, Jr. (born December 26, 1942) is an American Democratic politician who served as California's 37th Governor from 1999 until being recalled in 2003. Prior to serving as Governor, Davis served as Chief of Staff to Governor Jerry Brown (1975–1981), a California State Assemblyman (1983–1987), California State Controller (1987–1995) and the 44th Lieutenant Governor of California (1995–1999). Davis holds a B.A. in history from Stanford University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service as a Captain in the Vietnam War.

Polls have shown that Connecticut residents generally have been in favor of the death penalty over the last few years. It's been an issue in the gubernatorial race this year, as well.

The state Senate sent a bill to Gov. M. Jodi Rell in May 2009 that would have abolished the death penalty in Connecticut, but Rell vetoed it.

"I appreciate the passionate beliefs of people on both sides of the death penalty debate," Rell said at the time. "I fully understand the concerns and deeply held convictions of those who would like to see the death penalty abolished in Connecticut.”

"However, I also fully understand the anguish and outrage of the families of victims who believe, as I do, that there are certain crimes so heinous — so fundamentally revolting to our humanity — that the death penalty is warranted."

On November 8, 2010, Rell issued the following statement regarding the jury's recommendation of a sentence of death for Hayes:

The crimes that were committed on that brutal July night were so far out of the range of normal understanding that now, more than three years later, we still find it difficult to accept that they happened in one of our communities. I have long believed that there are certain crimes so heinous, so depraved, that society is best served by imposing the ultimate sanction on the criminal. Steven Hayes stands convicted of such crimes – and today the jury has recommended that he should be subjected to the death penalty. I agree.

“The death penalty sends a clear message to those who may contemplate such cold, calculated crimes,” Rell wrote in her June 2009 veto message. “We will not tolerate those who have murdered in the most vile, dehumanizing fashion.”

Mary Jodi Rell (born June 16, 1946) is a Republican politician and has been the 72nd and current Governor of the U.S. state of Connecticut since July 1, 2004. She was the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut under Governor John G. Rowland, who resigned during a corruption investigation. Rell is Connecticut's second female Governor, after Ella T. Grasso. On November 9, 2009, Rell announced she would not seek re-election in 2010.

“We don’t have the death penalty so that families can feel a sense of vengeance,” Blunt said. “We have the death penalty because we believe as a society, we believe as a state and we believe as a people that some crimes are so horrific that the only appropriate punishment is the death penalty.”

Matthew Roy Blunt (born November 20, 1970) served as the 54th Governor of Missouri from 2005 to 2009. Before his election as governor, Blunt served ten years in the United States Navy, was elected to serve in the Missouri General Assembly in 1998 and as Missouri's Secretary of State in 2000. A Republican, Blunt was elected governor on November 2, 2004, carrying 101 of Missouri's 114 counties. At age 33, he became the second youngest person ever elected to that office after Kit Bond. Blunt was the youngest governor in the United States until Bobby Jindal was sworn in as Governor of Louisiana on January 14, 2008. Blunt did not seek a second term as governor, announcing his decision in an address to Missourians on January 22, 2008. He was selected to serve as the president of the American Automotive Policy Council in 2011.

“The death penalty is the law in South Dakota, and I support it,” Daugaard said. “The state has a solemn responsibility to carry out this penalty in the rare cases where it is applied.” [Thursday 11 October 2012]

Dennis Daugaard (born June 11, 1953) is an American politician who has been the 32nd Governor of South Dakota since January 2011. Upon winning the 2010 South Dakota gubernational election, Daugaard became the first CODA governor in South Dakota history and the history of the United States.

"There are some crimes that are just so horrific that the death penalty is warranted."

"It has to be done very thoughtfully and very carefully, and it needs to involve discussions with law enforcement, the Legislature, advocates," he said. "But I would support the expansion of some murders that occur during home invasions."


"Our state has used the death penalty statute judiciously and cautiously, as is appropriate, and changes to the law should be carefully considered," Lynch said. "I believe that murder committed during home invasion fits the category of crimes that should be included in New Hampshire's death penalty statute."

Tuesday 15 March 2011 - Gov. John Lynch has expressed support for expanding the death penalty, as long as it's done carefully.

"I do support the death penalty, and I support a modest expansion of the death penalty, as long as there are clear parameters around it," he said.

Tuesday 28 June 2011 - Gov. John Lynch signed a bill Tuesday expanding the state's death penalty to cover burglaries in response to a machete and knife attack that killed a New Hampshire woman and maimed her daughter during a home invasion.

"I believe strongly that there are some crimes so heinous that the death penalty is warranted. As a state, we've used our death penalty statute judiciously and cautiously, as is appropriate. But there are some horrific crimes that are not currently covered under our capital murder statute," Lynch said in a statement.

John H. Lynch (born November 25, 1952) is the 80th and current Governor of New Hampshire. Lynch was first elected in 2004 and has been re-elected every two years since.

A trio of former California governors urged voters on Tuesday 30 October 2012 to preserve the death penalty in the state by defeating a ballot initiative seeking to abolish capital punishment on cost grounds, and a recent poll showed the measure gaining support but falling short of passing.

Also, opponents say those sentences could be commuted in the future, possibly freeing murderers once on death row.

"We've had enough crime victims in this state," Wilson said.