PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- A South Dakota legislative panel has decided the state should keep the death penalty.
The House State Affairs Committee voted 7-6 to reject a measure that would have repealed the death penalty. Relatives of two murder victims urged that the death penalty be kept, while the father of another victim said it should be repealed.
The measure would have banned the death penalty in future criminal cases, but it sought to leave in place the death sentences of three convicted murderers currently on South Dakota's death row.
Supporters of the death penalty argued it is an appropriate penalty for the most vile crimes and deters others from committing murder.
Opponents of the death penalty contend it does not deter others from committing horrible crimes, save money or improve public safety.