A Comprehensive and Visionary Approach

March 2, 2009

Former President Jimmy Carter is the latest to weigh in on the death penalty repeal debate going on in New Mexico.  The AP reported that he and his wife Rosalyn wrote a letter to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson encouraging him to back abolition of the death penalty.  Referring to the package of legislation that pairs a death penalty repeal bill with two bills to support victims’ families, the letter encourages Governor Bill Richardson to endorse “this comprehensive and visionary approach.” 

According to a press release issued by the Carter Center, the letter praises “New Mexico’s leadership regarding the death penalty and the rights of crime victims.” The bills that support victims’ families include HB 211, which provides funds for families to attend court proceedings, and HB 284, which provides reparations for the children of murder victims.  Carter noted that enacting all three of these bills into law would “show states that struggle with these important issues a positive way to deal with them.”

Indeed it would, and everyone should encourage Governor Richardson to take the lead in turning New Mexico’s “visionary approach” into a reality.