Monday, November 14, 2011

Capital Punishment Opponents Hold Capitol Protest

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Idahoans Against the Death Penalty took to the Statehouse steps Saturday to protest the scheduled Nov. 18 execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades. More than 100 people gathered to send their message to the Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who can stop the execution even moments before the syringes are filled with poison. The protesters implored Otter to use that power, sooner rather than later.

“I see today as us being a spiritual adviser to the state of Idaho,” said Rob Hanson. “You don’t need to kill to bring justice.”

Protesters rally on the steps of the Capitol
  • Protesters rally on the steps of the Capitol.

Hanson is Rhoades’ former spiritual adviser. In his speech, he talked about Rhoades and faith, and asked that the state reconsider the sentence. The group, including Hanson, plans to travel to the maximum security facility on the day of the execution.

“The worst of the worst often receive a lesser sentence, while those without the means to defend themselves end up on death row,” said Monica Hopkins, executive director of the Idaho ACLU. “Our ideals of democracy and justice demand that we abolish the death penalty.”

Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk of Boise said he expected his pro-life peers in the Idaho Legislature to speak up against “state-sponsored killing,” but that few had. Werk said that Idaho would be joining the ranks of countries like Uganda and North Korea, Werk, like previous speakers, questioned the use of capital punishment, but said he believed "there wasn’t a chance" that Otter would stop the execution.


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