Anti-Death Penalty Advocates Claim Montana Will Save Money With HB 370
A bi-partisan group of state legislators have teamed up to support House Bill 370, a bill that, if passed, would eliminate the death penalty in Montana and replace the punishment with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The fiscal note for the bill was printed last Friday, Feb. 15. Vice Chair for the group Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, Steve Dogiakos says, "the fact is we don't have all the hard numbers for all of the aspects of death penalty vs. life without parole in Montana. What we have seen and what our fiscal note for the bill has shown is that Montanan will receive about a million dollars per biennium if we pass our bill. So there's a net positive by doing that."
Without a detailed study on Montana's capitol punishment system, many of the bills expectations are driven by statistics found in other states. Dogiakos claims that in most other states the cost of capital punishment is nearly seven times that of life without parole.
Legislative sponsors for HB 370 include Republicans Doug Kary and Matt Rosendale, as well as Democrats Margie Macdonald, and Dave Wansenreid from Missoula