SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After the tragic death of Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino, Governor Charlie Baker reiterated his support for the death penalty, saying he believes police killers should be executed.
However, lawmakers in Massachusetts have been debating over the death penalty issue for decades. The closest state lawmakers have come to signing a similar legislation was back in 1997, when it was defeated by just 1 vote in the House.
In 2005, former Governor Mitt Romney wanted to bring back capital punishment for anyone convicted of terrorism, multiple murders and for killing law enforcement. That bill failed.
Vanessa McCoy of Springfield argues we don’t have the right to decide who lives, or dies, “Because I don’t think someone should take anyone else’s life.”
Springfield Attorney Ryan Alekman agreed. He told 22News there have been countless cases of people wrongfully convicted and exonerated. So there is always the risk of sentencing an innocent person to death.
The last time someone was executed in Massachusetts was back in 1947. The state abolished the death penalty in 1984.