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State Lawmaker Now Opposes Death Penalty

State Lawmaker Now Opposes Death Penalty

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A state lawmaker who previously supported the death penalty says he will ask the 2014 South Dakota Legislature to repeal capital punishment.

Rep. Steve Hickey of Sioux Falls, who also is a pastor, says he changed his mind on the death penalty after reviewing the Bible. He says he also believes it does not deter people from committing horrible crimes, save money on appeals or improve public safety.

Hickey says his bill would not affect the three people currently on death row, but would ban the death penalty in future cases.

Attorney General Marty Jackley says he will oppose the bill because he believes the death penalty is appropriate for the most vile crimes. He says the death penalty does not increase appeals costs and can prevent other crimes.

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