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State Rep. David McSweeney to introduce death penalty bill

He says ‘Light years’ of DNA technology advancement will ensure ‘no wrongful convictions’

State Rep. David McSweeney of the 52nd District.
State Rep. David McSweeney of the 52nd District.

Cavaletto’s legislation never moved out of committee, and McSweeney said he knows he faces an uphill battle with the Democratically controlled General Assembly.

“This one will have a lot of opposition. I don’t think it’s going to happen in the short run, but it’s an issue I will continue to focus on – through public education and through pointing out and proving the advances in DNA technology,” he said. “I believe it’s the right thing to do.”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, filed legislation to strike the use of capital punishment by the federal government. The move came after President Donald Trump’s administration announced last month it would resume the use of the death penalty for the first time in 16 years.

“Try as we might, we cannot escape the fact that the death penalty in America is disproportionately imposed on minorities and poor people,” Durbin said in a news release.

But McSweeney said a capital punishment measure is worth having a discussion about in a committee hearing.

“There needs to be a coordinated effort between state officials and the federal government to once and for all end this problem of violence in the city and in our state,” he said. “We need to get tough on crime again in this state and defend our citizens.”

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