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Lawmaker to push for repeal of SD death penalty

South Dakota Legislative Chambers
South Dakota Legislative Chambers

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota lawmaker says he'll ask the Legislature to repeal the death penalty in the session that starts Tuesday in Pierre.

Rep. Steve Hickey is a Sioux Falls Republican who also is a pastor.

He previously supported capital punishment but says he changed his mind after reviewing the Bible and deciding that the death penalty does not deter people from committing horrible crimes, save money or improve public safety.

Hickey has said his bill would apply only to future cases.

He'll face long odds in a Legislature that has consistently supported the death penalty.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley will oppose repeal, arguing that the death penalty is appropriate for vile crimes and is used sparingly in the state.

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