83 Pro Death Penalty Quotes by Republicans from the U.S.A

“Capital punishment is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life.”
Orrin Grant Hatch (born March 22, 1934) is a Republican United States Senator from Utah, serving since 1977.

Saturday 26 November 2011 - When asked if he stood by his 1996 legislation that would have given the death penalty to drug smugglers, he replied in the affirmative.

"I think if you are, for example, the leader of a cartel, sure," he said. "Look at the level of violence they've done to society. You can either be in the Ron Paul tradition and say there's nothing wrong with heroin and cocaine or you can be in the tradition that says, 'These kind of addictive drugs are terrible, they deprive you of full citizenship and they lead you to a dependency which is antithetical to being an American.' If you're serious about the latter view, then we need to think through a strategy that makes it radically less likely that we're going to have drugs in this country."

Gingrich suggested that Singapore, which imposes corporal punishment for minor offenses and the death penalty for drug offenses, was a role model. "Places like Singapore have been the most successful at doing that," Gingrich said. "They've been very draconian. And they have communicated with great intention that they intend to stop drugs from coming into their country."

We have two choices: We can find a way to be reasonable and surrender, or we can defeat them. [Tuesday 24 July 2007]

Newt Gingrich A.K.A Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich (born Newton Leroy McPherson; June 17, 1943) is an American politician, author, political consultant, and history teacher who served as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He represented Georgia's 6th congressional district as a Republican from 1979 until his resignation in 1999. He is a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Born and raised near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Gingrich attended Emory University and received his Ph.D. from Tulane University. In the 1970s he taught history and geography at West Georgia College. During this period he mounted several races for the United States House of Representatives, before winning the election of November 1978. He served as the House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995. A co-author and architect of the "Contract with America", Gingrich was at the forefront of Republican Party success in the 1994 congressional election. In 1995, Time named him "Man of the Year" for his role in ending 40 years of majority control by the Democratic Party. During his four years as House speaker, the House enacted welfare reform, passed a capital gains tax cut in 1997, and in 1998 passed the first balanced budget since 1969. He was disciplined in January 1997 by the House of Representatives for ethics accusations, although a full hearing was avoided. Following a poor Republican showing in the 1998 Congressional election, Gingrich resigned from the House on November 5, 1998, under pressure from his Republican colleagues. He had "been a lightning rod for controversy ever since he steered his party to the majority in 1994 and took control of the speaker's gavel." Since resigning from the House, Gingrich has remained active in public policy debates by working as a political consultant. He founded and chaired several policy think tanks including American Solutions for Winning the Future and the Center for Health Transformation. He has written or co-authored 23 books. In May 2011, he announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. presidency.
Tuesday 11 October 2011 - State Rep. Brad Drake filed a bill Tuesday that would eliminate lethal injection as a method for execution in Florida. Instead, people facing the death penalty would be allowed to choose execution by firing squad.

Electrocution still would be allowed under the bill.

Drake, R-Eucheeanna, said in a news release issued Tuesday night that he filed the bill in response to debate over the effectiveness of certain drugs used in lethal injection executions.

“So, I say let’s end the debate,” he said in the release. “We still have Old Sparky. And if that doesn’t suit the criminal, then we will provide them a .45 caliber lead cocktail instead.”

“I am sick and tired of this sensitivity movement for criminals,” Drake said. “Every time there is a warranted execution that is about to take place, some man or woman is standing on a corner holding a sign, yelling and screaming for humane treatment.

“I have no desire to humanely respect those that are inhumane,” he said in the release.

In a Waffle House in DeFuniak Springs, Drake said he heard a constituent say, "'You know, they ought to just put them in the electric chair or line them up in front of a firing squad.'" After a conversation with the person, Drake, 36, said he decided to file the bill.

"There shouldn't be anything controversial about a .45-caliber bullet. If it were up to me we would just throw them off the Sunshine Skyway bridge and be done with it," Drake said.

Under the bill, electrocution would be reinstated as the main means of execution in Florida, but death row inmates would have the option of facing a firing squad.

Though, Old Sparky, the state's electric chair, was retired after incidents in which inmates were left alive, and once even started a fire on an inmate's face. However, Drake isn't worried.

"In the words of Humphrey Bogart, 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.' I am so tired of being humane to inhumane people," the Baptist lawmaker told The Current.

He said that government is spending too much time listening to advocacy groups and instead should put in place a death sentence that forces convicted murderers to contemplate their fates.

Drake said lethal injection just allows a person to die in their sleep while a firing squad or electrocution would force Death Row inmates to think about their punishment "every morning."

"I think if you ask a hundred people, not even talking to criminals, how would you like to die, if you were drowned, if you were shot, and if you say you were put to sleep, 90 percent of some of the people would say I want to be put to sleep," Drake said. "Let's put our pants back on the right way."

But Drake said that those who caused suffering and grief for families should get their day of reckoning.

"I just don't think they should be able to get off that easy," he said.

Brad Drake is a Florida Republican legislator who serves as the District 5 Representative in the House of Representatives of the U.S. state of Florida First elected in November 2008, he represents DeFuniak Springs, Florida. He was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida. From 2001 to 2007, he worked as a legal assistant for the Florida House. He owns a marketing company and has taught in Walton County, Florida. He received the endorsements of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida Right to Life. He was opposed in the election by Democratic Sheriff John McDaniel of Jackson County, Florida, to replace Republican Don Brown, whose term limits had expired. He served as Brown's legislative aide. In the primary, he defeated Sherry Campbell, a county commissioner for Okaloosa County, Florida to face McDaniels in a district with more Democrats than Republicans. On his campaign webpage, he identified reduced taxes, 2nd Amendment protections, family values, quality, affordable health care, and affordable property insurance as his priorities.

Baker said he favors capital punishment not only for heinous crimes, but also for the death of a law enforcement officer.

“Clearly there are crimes that justify the ultimate punishment,” he said.

Charles D. "Charlie" Baker, Jr. (born November 13, 1956), is an American businessman and politician from Massachusetts. He was a cabinet official under two Massachusetts governors, spent ten years as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and is the Republican candidate in the 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial election.

WHEELING - Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Faircloth thinks West Virginia residents - not state lawmakers - should determine whether the Mountain State should have the death penalty.

If elected governor, Faircloth said he will propose that a constitutional amendment go before voters to decide the death penalty issue.

Faircloth said a constitutional amendment regarding the death penalty could specifically target drug dealers who take the life of another person or kill the elderly.

"You can make that constitutional amendment as narrow or as wide as you want it to be," he said. "We would want input from people across the states, prosecutors, the 134 members of the Legislature and the press. Quite frankly, I'm looking at a constitutional amendment to bring back the death penalty in this state."

“A lot of the violent crimes in West Virginia are committed by people living outside the state”, Faircloth said.

"It is so bad for law enforcement and the prosecutors to keep up," he said. "And perhaps if we sent a stronger message to those criminals, maybe they would conduct their business elsewhere or get prosecuted. If they've taken the lives of another person, they would give up their own lives for that activity.

"I'm a Christian, and we have to do something. Year by year, it is getting worse," he added. "Innocent people are dying. Officers across the country who defend us every day, their lives are being taken by people who are running criminal operations. I think it is time for somebody to step up and offer that as a solution to the problem."

Larry Faircloth (born 23 July 1948) is a Republican politician from West Virginia.

Wednesday 21 March 2012 - State Reps. John T. Shaban, R-Redding, and John Hetherington, R-New Canaan, said they believe capital punishment is a deterrent to crime.

"If it protects one innocent future victim, then I think it serves its purpose," Shaban said. "It cannot be taken out of the tool box of our prosecutors."

"Only the truly guilty, guilty of the most-heinous crimes, end up on death row in Connecticut," Hetherington said.

John Hetherington is a Republican member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 125th District since 2003. Hetherington currently serves as Attorney Of Counsel for Rucci, Burnham, Carta and Edelberg Limited Liability Partnership. He was Vice President/Attorney/Secretary of the MeadWestvaco Corporation from 1967-2002, and a Captain in the United States Naval Reserve, Judge Advocate General's Corps, from 1965-1992. He is a member of the New Canaan Kiwanis Club, Director of New Canaan Neighborhoods, Director of United Way of New Canaan, volunteer Attorney with Connecticut Legal Services of the New Canaan Exchange Club, and the New Canaan Nature Center Advisory Board.

Wednesday 21 March 2012 - State Reps. John T. Shaban, R-Redding, and John Hetherington, R-New Canaan, said they believe capital punishment is a deterrent to crime.

"If it protects one innocent future victim, then I think it serves its purpose," Shaban said. "It cannot be taken out of the tool box of our prosecutors."

John J. Shaban is a Republican member of the Connecticut House of Representatives. He has represented the 135th district since 2011. Shaban attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. He earned his ABA Environmental Law Certificate from the School of Law at Pace University in 1993. Shaban was a semi-pro football player from 1985 to 1989 and from 1994 to 2006. He has also worked as a football coach for the Aspetuck Wildcats. Shaban has been employed as a fact finder/arbitrator for the Connecticut Judicial Branch and as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In 2003, he was partner of the Litigation Department of Whitman, Breed, Abbott, and Morgan.

Friday 26 October 2012 - State Rep. Raul Torres wants the death penalty for terrorists and drug traffickers that harm U.S. citizens and to treat cartel activities on American soil as acts of war.

The Republican candidate for state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa's seat, which includes a chunk of Hidalgo County in the Rio Grande Valley, said in a mass email the federal government has failed to secure the border with Mexico and more is needed to safeguard American lives.

"It's high time we start treating this as a battle zone and not just some random criminal activity."

Raul Torres (born February 6, 1955) is a Certified Public Accountant in Corpus Christi, Texas, who has represented District 33 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2011.

Former Delegate Craig Blair, a longtime capital punishment proponent, said he plans to testify at the hearing and hopes to see this issue on the ballot in 2011.

"I think it should be on the ballot, first of all because this issue is too big for the Legislature to decide. It should be on there for the people to decide," Blair said.

Having this kind of voter referendum on the ballot would also help increase voter participation, he said.

"They are worried about poor voter turnout for this year's gubernatorial election, but putting this on the ballot would be a good way to increase that and it would also give the people a voice. And their vote would truly make a difference," Blair said.

Craig Blair (b. October 17, 1959) was a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. He represented District 52 from 2002-2010. Blair graduated from the Residential and Industrial Electricity Course, the Machine Trades Course, and the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Course at James Rumsey Technical Institute in 1976, 1984, and 1988, respectively. He then graduated from the Water Treatment Specialist Course, the Water Disinfection/Reverse Osmosis Technologies Course, and the Ozone Technologies/Water Filtration Course at the Water Quality Association, International in 1993, 1996, and 1999, respectively. Blair was a cook for Kentucky Fried Chicken from 1976 to 1977. He then worked as a Salesperson for Montgomery Wards from 1977 to 1978. From 1978 to 1986, he was a farmer for Rosemary Orchard. He then worked as a plant engineer for Cassco Ice/Reddy Ice from 1986 to 2003. Blair has worked for Sunset Water Services as its President/Owner since 1989. He has also worked for the Water Quality Association as a Certified Water Specialist since 1993. He is a master electrician as well.

Justice is the great interest of man on earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together. Wherever her temple stands, and so long as it is duly honored, there is a foundation for social security, general happiness, and the improvement and progress of our race. And whoever labors on this edifice with usefulness and distinction, whoever clears its foundations, strengthens its pillars, adorns its entablatures, or contributes to raise its august dome still higher in the skies, connects himself, in name, and fame, and character, with that which is and must be as durable as the frame of human society.

Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852) was a leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War. He first rose to regional prominence through his defense of New England shipping interests. Webster's increasingly nationalistic views, and his effectiveness as a speaker, made him one of the most famous orators and influential Whig leaders of the Second Party System. He was one of the nation's most prominent conservatives, leading opposition to Democrat Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party. He was a spokesman for modernization, banking and industry. He was an acknowledged elitist. During his 40 years in national politics, Webster served in the House of Representatives for 10 years (representing New Hampshire), in the Senate for 19 years (representing Massachusetts), and was appointed the Secretary of State under three presidents. Webster was one of the most successful lawyers of the era, taking part in several key US Supreme Court cases, which established important constitutional precedents that bolstered the authority of the federal government. As Secretary of State, he negotiated the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, which established the definitive eastern border between the United States and Canada. Chiefly recognized for his Senate tenure, Webster was a key figure in the institution's "Golden days". Webster was considered the Northern member of a trio known as the "Great Triumvirate", with his colleagues Henry Clay from the West (Kentucky) and John C. Calhoun from the South. His "Reply to Hayne" in 1830 was regarded as "the most eloquent speech ever delivered in Congress." As with his fellow Whig Henry Clay, Webster wanted to see the Union preserved and civil war averted. They both worked for compromises to stave off the sectionalism that threatened war between the North and the South. Webster tried and failed three times to become President of the United States. In 1957, a Senate Committee selected Webster as one of the five greatest U.S. Senators with Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Robert La Follette, and Robert Taft.

"I'm glad to see the governor is moving toward the Republican agenda on this issue," he said. O'Brien said cost can't be a consideration on this issue. "In the end, if you were to look in the eyes of the victim of a murder right before she was murdered and say, 'I don't think we can do justice for you because it costs too much,' I don't think any one of us could do that, so this is a legitimate issue," he said.

“There's a clear message to those individuals who, for thrill, would invade our homes that that is one of the most abhorrent acts you could engage in."


"I think it's because he brings something very special to our committee to tell us. And that is the importance that there be this type of deterrence in New Hampshire."

O'Brien disagreed with death penalty opponents who claim the punishment isn't a deterrent.

"It deters those who are put to death," he said.

"We can't bring Kimberly Cates back," O'Brien said. "We can't send these young men to the fate they so deserve. But we can give a clear message to those who would think of doing this again . . . that this is such a horrific act that your community and your state will respond with the strongest, most definitive punishment that it can avail itself of."

The measure now heads to the state Senate for review.

“We believe that this legislation represents a critical enhancement of protection for those in their homes which most consider their sanctuary,” O’Brien added. “This legislation will also deliver justice for victims of these crimes and their families. This is a measured and responsible expansion of the New Hampshire death penalty statute.”

Tuesday 15 March 2011 - O'Brien, R-Mont Vernon, said after the vote the bill was a direct response to the Cates case.

"The goal of this legislation is to act as a deterrent to ensure that anyone who would consider such a heinous crime would think twice before they go forward," he said. "We believe that this legislation represents a critical enhancement of protection for those in their homes - which most people consider their sanctuary. This legislation also will deliver justice for victims of these crimes and their families. This is a measured and responsible expansion of the NH death penalty statute."

Tuesday 15 March 2011 - For House Speaker Bill O'Brien, the crime that took place in his hometown of Mont Vernon was all the motivation he needed.

"It will, I believe, deter those who seek to go into our houses for thrill killings," he said. "It will allow us to have to have greater assurance that our houses are places of respite and safety."

Tuesday 15 March 2011 - O’Brien, a Republican, said the bill will enhance protection for people in their homes. “This legislation will also deliver justice for victims of these crimes and their families,’’ he said.

Thursday 9 June 2011 - On The bill (HB 147) marks a big achievement for House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, who authored this bill in memory of Kimberly Cates, the Mont Vernon mother brutally stabbed to death in October 2009.

 “Our homes are our sanctuary. This legislation is a necessary enhancement of protection for those in their homes who have the right to be safe and secure,” O’Brien said in a statement after the vote.

“It will achieve justice for victims and allow for deterrence to those who would enter the homes of others to murder them.”

William O’Brien is the Republican Politician of Hillsborough District 4 in New Hampshire.
Sunday 27 March 2011 - State Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chester Township, and chairman of the Senate of Criminal Justice Committee, said he thinks the bill has no chance of passing.

"I'm a proponent of the death penalty," he said. "If a jury finds a death penalty is appropriate then I believe that penalty should be administered."

If the state wants to save money, the appeals process should be shortened to not waste money through endless legal action, he said.

"At some point, you can't put a price on justice. You just have to do what's right for the public," he said.

Timothy Grendell (b. April 17, 1953) is a Republican member of the Ohio State Senate. Grendell worked for Geauga County Republican Party Finance. He served in the Ohio State House of Representatives from 2000 to 2004. He joined the Ohio State Senate in 2005 and has served in that position since. He represents the 18th district. Grendell was a Captain in the United States Army from 1978 to 1983. He worked as Attorney/Partner for Zoncok, Day, Reavis, Pogue from 1984 to 1990. He then worked as Partner fro Speith, Bell, McCurdy and Newell fom 1990 to 1993. From 1993 to 1998, he was Attorney/Partner for Taft Stettinius and Hollister Grendel and Marrer Company. He also worked as an Attorney for Grendell and Targrove Company from 1991 to 1999. He has worked as Attorney/Principal for Grendell and Simon Company since 1999. Grendell earned his BA from John Carroll University in 1975. He went on to receive his JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1978. He then earned his LLM from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1983.

“It's reprehensible when you equate money with justice,” said Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), who supports the death penalty. “This is not a matter of money, it’s a matter of justice.” [Wednesday 21 September 2011]


Jim Nielsen A.K.A James Wiley Nielsen (born July 31, 1944 in Fresno, California) is an American politician from California and a member of the Republican party. Nielsen served on the Yolo County Republican Committee before winning election to the California State Senate in 1978. Nielsen is currently the Assemblyman from California's 2nd Assembly District having been elected in November 2008.

Sen. Jack Barnes, a Raymond Republican, is the bill's only Senate sponsor. Barnes testified that as a Korean war veteran, he knows what it means to kill.

"If unfortunately (this bill) had to apply to someone, I'd be more than happy to be the one who gives the injection or pulls the gallows or whatever it means to put a person to death," Barnes said.

John S. Barnes, Jr. (born on 21 August 1931) is a Republican member of the New Hampshire Senate, representing the 17th District since 2000. Previously he was in the Senate from 1992 through 1998, and was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1988 until 1992. He won (without opposition) the New Hampshire primary for Vice President of the United States in 2008.

Question: Would you support a ban or moratorium on death penalty cases?

Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek: "No. The death penalty is reserved for the most severe crimes imaginable. Conditioning the imposition of justice solely on the basis of cost to litigate would set a troubling precedent. Long-term incarceration is costly as well, so a moratorium would create its own problems."

Brandt Hershman is a Republican State Senator from Indiana. Hershman currently serves as the Majority Whip in the Indiana State Senate and represents Senate District 7 which includes parts of White, Tippecanoe, Jasper, Clinton, Carroll and Howard Counties. He has served in the Indiana State Senate since 2000. Hershman serves as the Chairman of the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. He is currently a candidate for Congress in the Fourth Congressional District. He is married to Lisa Hershman.

Altman is no wild-eyed liberal. The Space Coast Republican calls it "inconsistent and illogical" that the law requires a unanimous verdict of guilt to convict somebody of a crime, but not to recommend that someone be put to death.

"Life is far too precious," Altman said at a recent death penalty symposium at Florida State University's law school. "It's the least that we can ask that before we give the ultimate sentence to someone that we require a unanimous verdict."

Thad Altman is a Republican member of the Florida State Senate, representing District 24 since 2008. Altman was Commissioner of Brevard County from 1984 to 1992. He then won a special election to the Florida State House of Representatives in March of 2003, serving until 2008. Altman earned his AA from Brevard Community College in 1975. He went on to attend the University of Houston from 1975 to 1977. He then earned his BS from Rollins College in 1987.

State Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford) and the chairman of the Senate Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters Committee said he did not favor placing a cap on expenses.

“I think every county can afford it,” Steele said. “I know there’s a staggering cost to it, but we do it most efficiently as we can.”

Brent Steele is an Indiana Senate Republican and the chairman of the Senate Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters Committee

According to Limehouse, a spokesperson for the Griffor family suggested the newly proposed law be named in honor of Allison. Allison Griffor died at MUSC on October 28 2011 from injuries she received when someone fired a gun through the door of her home. The incident has been the topic of much discussion, as investigators with multiple law enforcement agencies continue to look for leads that may lead to the person or persons responsible for her death.

"We want the strictest penalties we can apply. If there is a death of a person, then certainly the death penalty ought to be implied."

Harry "Chip" Limehouse (b. August 8, 1962) is a Republican member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing District 110. Limehouse earned his BS from the University of South Carolina in 1984. Limehouse is a Broker/Executive for Limehouse Properties. He works in Hotel/Motel Management. Limehouse was a Senate Page from 1983 to 1984. In 1984, he was a Volunteer Coordinator for the Reagan-Bush Campaign. He joined the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1995 and has served in that position since. He represents the 110th District. He has also served as Legislative Aid to United States Senator Strom Thurmond.

Attack on Texas' lethal injections is bogus
by State Sen. Kyle Janek (Republican, Houston), an anesthesiologist

In fact, the most recent survey on the subject - a Scripps Howard Texas poll conducted last year - found that 76 % of Texans support capital punishment. With one notable dip to 42 % in 1966, such a high level of public support generally has held true over the last 50 years.

Having no hope of overturning capital punishment itself at the ballot box or through the court system, a few vocal death penalty opponents, including inmates, have rolled out a new strategy to change how it is carried out. In what amounts to practicing medicine without a license, those critics have started to attack the inclusion of pancuronium bromide as one of the medications used in the lethal injection process. They claim its use is "cruel and unusual."

Is pancuronium bromide some new, untested drug whose sole purpose is to torture? Is it perhaps an exotic street drug that should be outlawed? Well, actually ... no.

Kyle Janek, M.D. (born January 10, 1958), is a former Republican member of the Texas Senate, having represented District 17 from 2003 until June 2, 2008. The district includes portions of Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, and Jefferson counties. Janek was not a candidate for renomination to the state Senate in the Republican primary held on March 4. Janek resigned the seat, and Governor Rick Perry called a special election to coincide with the regular November 4 general election to fill the two years remaining in the term. Republican Joan Huffman, a former felony court judge from Houston and Democrat Chris Bell, a former U.S. representative who was Perry's 2006 election opponent, led the field and went into a December 16 runoff. Huffman ultimatedly prevailed, 56-44 percent. She becomes the sixth woman serving in the state Senate.

Thursday 2 June 2011 - Senator Jim Luther voted for the bill. The state Senate Thursday passed a bill that expands the state’s death penalty to include murders committed during home invasions. On a one-sided voice vote, the Senate approved House Bill 147, which would take effect July 1. “I think home invasion that’s your place of solitude with your family...In your home that ought to be a place of safety, and to really penetrate that, it’s almost that it just rises to a higher level.”

“Our homes are sanctuaries and merit the protection this legislation would bring.”

Jim Luther is a Republican member of the New Hampshire State Senate. He has represented district 12 since 2010.

"I think that you have to look at what's the penalty. We as a society have said that certain crimes, heinous crimes such as the murder of somebody, [are punished by death], I would like to actually increase the death penalty to apply to aggravated sexual assault of a child.... There are certain things that I think you are not going to rehabilitate somebody, you're going to stick them in a correctional facility for the rest of their lives. You are going to put guards in danger sometimes trying to deal with these people. I think that the proper thing to do is to permanently terminate this person, remove them from society permanently."


Paul Ray is a member of the Utah House of Representatives in the U.S. He represents the 13th district which covers North West Davis County. Paul has served since 2001.

Monday 11 June 2012 - BOISE, Idaho — Mia Crosthwaite's protests won't save Richard Leavitt.

She knows that. Still, she will rally against Leavitt's execution Tuesday the same way she and about 100 others protested the state-ordered death of Paul Ezra Rhoades in November.

For Crosthwaite, a member of Idahoans Against the Death Penalty, it's not just Leavitt's life and the lives of 12 other Idaho death row inmates that are at stake. The struggle is about more than life and death.

It's about right and wrong.

"I could probably make an intellectual argument that the people on death row deserve to die," Crosthwaite said. "But I will never concede that other people have a right to strap them to a table and kill them."

Retiring state Sen. Denton Darrington, R-Declo, couldn't disagree more.

For Darrington, putting Leavitt to death is a matter of justice.

"All of our attention at a time like this should be to the victim and the victim's family and the brutality involved," Darrington said. "And that's enough for me."

Darrington said he's not troubled that convicts condemned to death might be innocent, despite the fact that many death row inmates have been exonerated across the nation.

Anything's possible, he conceded, but in Leavitt's case, he has faith that then-Bingham County Prosecutor Tom Moss never would have sought the death penalty if he were unsure of Leavitt's guilt when he secured a conviction in 1985.

Denton Darrington (born April 30, 1940) is a Republican member of the Idaho State Senate since 1982. He has been representing the 27th District which includes all of Cassia County.

Overington, R-55th, a longtime proponent of capital punishment for West Virginia, has filed similar bills seeking the reinstatement every year for the last 25 years to no avail.

“The leadership has always opposed it,” he said. “They are thwarting the will of the public.”

Overington, now armed with a petition that includes more than 1,000 names, said Devonshire “is extremely motivated and is working hard generating interest in reinstating the death penalty. He has a good case for why we need it.”

Absolute proof of guilt would have to be shown.

“We have a number of cases where that occurs,” he said. “You see somebody in a video in front of a 7-Eleven killing somebody when the evidence is 100 percent.”

Overington favors lethal injection but pointed out an Italian firm has decided to quit making the product used in executions since it opposes this usage.

West Virginia once relied on “Old Sparky,” the electric chair when the maximum security prison was in Moundsville. Before that, the method was simply a rope — a fact not lost on the former bluegrass band, Flatt & Scruggs, in a 1960s song, “The Last Public Hanging in West Virginia.”

“I think something like firing squads would be faster,” Overington said.

“There have been concerns about lethal injection, whether a person is under some discomfort and could still be aware of pain at a different level when he becomes unconscious.”
Overington’s stationery includes a quote from President Eisenhower’s secretary of state to the effect that society’s foremost obligation is to protect the nation from violence.

“It’s not cruel and unusual,” Overington said, responding to critics of the death penalty.

“Society has an obligation to protect its citizens from violence. It sends a message that you don’t have to look at things like revenge. It someone commits a murder, a heinous crime, there will be justice.”

Put simply, Overington says one motive is to prevent vigilantes from reacting to murders.

“It gives people a level of comfort that we have a fair and just society when somebody is not going to be redeemable in any way is put to death,” he said.

"The main issue that I see is capital punishment lets people know that there is a sense of justice in our society," Overington said.  "That wrongs are taken care of.  That the person who did a brutal murder or brutal killing is not going to have a special Thanksgiving dinner."

"Our society is a just society," Overington said.  "Justice will prevail in the end, and capital punishment should be a part of that justice system."

Tuesday 15 March 2011 – Overington has modified his bill, House Bill 2526, over the years. He said medical advances in DNA, along with the aggravating and mitigating circumstances outlined in the bill, make it virtually impossible for an innocent person to be sentenced to death in West Virginia.

“That’s why we have the life sentence,” Overington said during an interview last year. “If there is a shadow of a doubt, they would get life.”

Tuesday 15 March 2011 - Overington said resurrecting capital punishment in West Virginia would not be about revenge but about living in a just society, a system that conveys a more “proper sense of justice.”

“Some might say ‘Let them rot in jail,’ and I see some revenge in that. But we do live in a world where some of these people are just not going to be redeemable. There is no reason to have them live a long life in prison,” he said.

“All of our neighbors have capital punishment. Our lives should be equally as valuable.”

John Overington (b. June 5, 1946) is a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. He has represented District 55 since 1984. Overington attended Shepherd College. He went on to receive his BS in Chemistry from Washington College in 1969. He then attended Graduate Studies in Philosophy at George Washington University. Overington worked as a chemistry teacher for Prince George's County Board of Education from 1969 to 1972. He has also worked in the following positions: Public Relations, Publication Production Supervisor for Harry Kahn Associates, Industrial Relations for Grove Manufacturing, and Weekly Newspaper Editor for the Community Sentinel.

Monday 11 April 2011 - Last week, opponents of the death penalty had their say in Hartford advocating a bill that would abolish capital punishment in Connecticut. Monday, supporters of the death penalty, including both Republican and Democratic legislators, as well as police and fire personnel, held a similar news conference at the Legislative Office Building to promote a bill that would streamline Connecticut’s post-conviction process and shorten the appeals procedure for criminals who sit on death row.

“The people of Connecticut, by a strong majority, support the death penalty for the most heinous of crimes,” said State Rep. David Labriola, R-Oxford, one of the supporters of the bill. “We must create a workable death penalty, so the crime victim’s families can have a reasonable expectation that the sentence will in fact be carried out.”

Monday 2 May 2011 - “I would argue that there are some instances when evil is so present in a person, for example in the (2007) Cheshire killings, or Osama bin Laden,” Labriola said. “(In these cases) the only just solution is the death penalty.”