On February 1, 2019, the Wyoming House passed a death penalty repeal bill by a vote of 36-21. The bill now moves to the Wyoming Senate, where it must pass before February 25th.
This legislative victory was the result of a coordinated effort between a variety of state organizations, including the ACLU of Wyoming. Death row exoneree Randy Steidl was also incredibly influential in this process.
Randy speaking in the Wyoming state House of Representatives
Randy, who spent 17 years in prison before being exonerated, has been in Wyoming all week advocating for repeal of the death penalty. He spoke to representatives about reasons to repeal the death penalty, including the cost of keeping inmates on death row and the chance of convicting and executing the innocent. Randy's compelling story and arguments were mentioned in today's hearings on the House floor several times.
Elizabeth Zitrin, past President of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, stated that "death row exoneree Randy Steidl has been changing hearts and minds in the legislature."
Randy Steidl (right) with Wyoming House Representative and bill sponsor Jared Olson (left)
Wyoming is currently one of 31 states that still has the death penalty, but there are currently no inmates on WY death row.
Click here for an article from the Billings Gazette that covers Randy's efforts in Wyoming.