Many states and even many people who are in support of the death penalty question their support of the death penalty because of the imperfection of our courts. Through DNA testing, we don't always get it right, even with that.
After years spent in Washington, I have become more aware than ever of the government’s ineptness and the likelihood of its making mistakes. I no longer trust the U.S. government to invoke and carry out a death sentence under any conditions.
Overall, we just need to evaluate the whole death penalty issue. If it's going to take millions and millions of dollars per inmate and years before we can execute someone, that's a major policy issue we need to look at.
As a conservative, I celebrated the vote [to repeal the death penalty] as a reflection of our values to be efficient and judicious with taxpayer dollars and to rid our government of programs that don’t work.
— Karen Pfaehler, former vice chair of Montana GOP
There are many people who commit heinous crimes, and I'd be the first to stand up with emotion and say they should lose their lives...But when I look at the unfairness of it, the fact that the poor and people of color are most often the victims when it comes to the death penalty, and how many cases we've gotten wrong now that we have DNA evidence to back us up, I mean, it just tells me life imprisonment is penalty enough.
— U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, used to support the death penalty but now supports repeal nationwide