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that's not how it works

Wyoming Senate rejects death penalty repeal, one senator citing Jesus' crucifixion as her rationale

Christian denominations ascribe slightly different meanings to Rome's crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his professed resurrection, but holding up Christ's death as an example of justice and an endorsement of capital punishment is a novel interpretation.

On Thursday, the Wyoming Senate summarily defeated a bill, 18-12, that would have repealed the state's death penalty. The legislation had passed the state House by a comfortable margin and been unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, the Casper Star Tribune reports. "The vote was different than I expected to see from talking with people beforehand," said state Sen. Brian Boner (R), the bill's main Senate sponsor. "There's a lot of different factors and, at the end of the day, everyone has to make their best determination based on the information they have."

Proponents of the measure had cited the cost of maintaining the death penalty — about $1 million a year — said abolishing it would create a more humane justice system that couldn't execute innocent people, and showcased evidence that capital punishment doesn't deter crime. Opponents argued that executing inmates gives closure to the relatives of their victims and said it was a useful law enforcement tool. And then there was state Sen. Lynn Hutchings (R), who pointed to Jesus, believed by Christians to have been without sin.

"The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and me," Hutchings said. "I'm grateful to him for our future hope because of this. Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn't for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope."

Boner shrugged. A lot of the no votes "had a deep conviction that someone can do something so heinous that they have to die," he told the Star Tribune. "There's no amount of reason or facts that you can give them that will change that." Read more at the Star Tribune.