Bill Richardson weighing death penalty repeal in New Mexico
Gov. Bill Richardson has been flooded with e-mail and callers offering their views on whether he should sign legislation to abolish the death penalty.
Richardson, who must decide by midnight Wednesday whether to sign the bill, has received more than 6,000 responses on the death penalty, the governor's office said Monday. Those include people sending e-mail, calling the governor's office and meeting with Richardson in the Capitol.
Caitlin Kelleher, a spokeswoman for the governor, said there was no tally of how many people have recommended that the governor sign the bill to repeal the death penalty or veto it, which would leave the death penalty in place.
Richardson met Monday with individuals and groups about pending legislation, with more than 40 of them voicing an opinion about the proposed death penalty repeal.
The legislation abolishes the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent Richardson a letter on Monday urging him to sign the legislation.
The Legislature gave final approval to the measure Friday and sent it to the governor, who called it "an extremely difficult issue" and invited New Mexicans to weigh in over the weekend.
"I have met with many people and will continue to consider all sides of the issue before making a decision," said the Democratic governor.
He has been a supporter of capital punishment but ays his position has softened.
SANTA FE, N.M.
The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 17, 2009