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Breaking news: Senate panel OK's abolishing death penalty


By CODY BLOOMSBURG, Community News Service

HELENA — The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill 7-5 on Thursday to replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole.

The weight of the decision was clear in Sen. Greg Hinkle's voice as he told fellow lawmakers he would vote to put the bill on the floor.

"I probably struggled with this issue more than anyone," said the Republican from Thompson Falls.

Hinkle said while he absolutely believes heinous criminals need to be severely punished, a tour of death row made him think maybe life in prison was a far greater penalty than de...

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