Meeting Public Comments

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A bill for an act creating a capital murder offense by establishing the penalty of death for murder in the first degree offenses involving kidnapping and sexual abuse offenses against the same victim who is a minor, and including effective date and applicability provisions.(See SF 82.)
Subcommittee members: Garrett-CH, Bisignano, Schultz
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: RM 24A
Comments Submitted:
The purpose of comments is to provide information to members of the subcommittee.
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.

01-13-2021
Lyndi FlugumCollins []
Capital punishment is a costly, ineffective, risky method of trying to enforce law. There are many documented instances of people who had been on death row but were vindicated. The threat of capital punishment doesnt deter criminals. The costs of creating a system for capital punishment would be better used providing preventative measures and treatment for survivors.
01-13-2021
Pete McRoberts [American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa]
Hon. Senators Garrett, Bisignano, & Schultz The ACLU of Iowa respectfully opposes SSB 1104, and asks this bill not proceed. As you may know, our mission is to ensure that governments always act in a way that protects people's legal rights and liberties. SSB 1004, if enacted, would require that every level of government is always without error. This means a prosecutor can't make an error of fact or judgment; neither can a judge; neither can a state public defender. The chance of that happening is so remote as to be nonexistent. Under our current system, that accounts for mistakes, even when they are enormous, they can be undone. Second, as a practical matter, there are literally no death penalty qualified lawyers in the state of Iowa. There will be no death penalty qualified lawyers if and when the first trial under this proposal occurs. There will be no *skilled* death penalty lawyers for years. Please note, I do not mean just defense attorneys. While defense attorneys' role is simply limited to forcing the government to prove every element of a crime, a County Attorney / prosecutor has a more complex role. These lawyers are required to seek justice as define it under our constitution and laws. Sometimes that means prosecuting a person until conviction; sometimes that means dropping a case and moving on. A Judge in Iowa has no means to become skilled at presiding over a case like this until the case is underway. These are risks we would not accept in the judicial system under any circumstances, let alone one that can't be undone. Our legal community, skilled as it is, does not have the capacity to perform these tasks in an errorfree way. And yet, our constitution requires no errors in a capital system. Finally, it is important to redirect back to what we do have in Iowa. In a state like Iowa, life means life. While nothing could ever take away the pain and suffering of the survivors of the worst crimes imaginable, a duly convicted murderer does not get out of prison; they die there. They die in prison. They don't roam the streets, they don't wait until their sentence is up. Their abilities to terrorize families and neighborhoods ends abruptly, and permanently. And, if and when the government makes a mistake which happens the mistake can be corrected. In closing, we respectfully ask you to keep our system the way it is. It keeps people safe, and it allows all of us to know that our justice system does have checks and balances reflective of all of our values. Thank you. Pete McRobertsACLU of Iowa
01-13-2021
Jane Robinette []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004. No one disputes these are horrific crimes, but the death penalty is not the appropriate punishment.Multiple studies show that capital punishment is not a deterrent to murder. The murder rate in death penalty states has been consistently higher than in nondeathpenalty states. Furthermore, Black defendants are disproportionately more likely to receive a death sentence, particularly when the victims are white. Executions do not save money, in fact they cost more than life in prison without parole. With courts and prisons already strained due to low staffing and funding, this would add one more significant burden. And the risk of wrongful execution is real. Since 1973, 174 people on death row have been exonerated. This is unconscionable.Because Iowa has not had the death penalty since 1965, a whole infrastructure will have to be created and funded to carry out this penalty for what is hopefully rare set of crimes. But once the infrastructure is in place, more and more crimes will be added.Vengeance alone, without considering the cost in dollars and potential mistakes, is no reason to bring the death penalty back to Iowa. Please oppose this bill.
01-13-2021
Blake Rozendaal []
I oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty. It is up to the state to end what would only be a continuation of the cycle of violence. Living in prison, perhaps for the rest of their lives, will provide ample time to reconsider their actions, or be exonerated by new evidence that would prove their innocence in some cases. I urge you to vote no on this bill to bring back a cruel and wasteful system that we had left behind long ago.
01-13-2021
Andrew Fisher []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty is not only cruel, but it is morally repugnant and does not belong in civil society. For people to claim they are prolife, yet support this bill is the definition of hypocrite. I want each of the legislators discussing this bill to take a few minutes and imagine their loved ones were getting put to death before they vote to let someone else's life be taken.
01-13-2021
Adam Falk []
The death penalty is immoral and indefensible. This should not be brought back.
01-13-2021
Emily Ewing []
This bill is immoral and unconscionable. As a pastor and a Christian, I am deeply concerned for the morals of those who would support this bill. During a pandemic, there are far more important concerns than reinstating the death penalty. If the immorality of it is not enough of a reason, then surely the cost of it would be! This is a waste of taxpayer money, particularly for a state that has already been shamefully priding itself on spending as little as possible.
01-13-2021
Julie Faas []
Please do not reinstate the death penalty. We are better than that.
01-13-2021
Judy Winkelpleck []
I do not support the death penality. It does not decrease crime and requires complicated and expensiveprocedures.Thanks
01-13-2021
Rev. Nathan Willard []
A sentence of life in prison without parole is also and already a death sentence, and one that allows the correction of the errors in the justice system that have repeatedly be shown to exist. Adding capital punishment does not do more to show heinous acts are outside the bounds of society, but does remove some of our own humanity.
01-13-2021
Julia Benson []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty is not the solution for reducing crime in Iowa.
01-13-2021
Catherine Cleveland []
The death penalty is immoral, irreversible and an ineffective deterrent. It has no place in a civilized society.
01-13-2021
Gregory Hauenstein []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment and is often unfairly assigned.
01-13-2021
Peter Rian []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004. One innocent person wrongly convicted, sentenced to death, and killed, is one too many.
01-13-2021
Debra Sanborn []
The State of Iowa already has a death penalty. It is life in prison without parole. I oppose this bill and encourage its dismissal.
01-13-2021
Alexis Carfrae [University of Iowa Student]
Bringing back the death penalty is terrible. You cannot be prolife and support the death penalty.
01-13-2021
Robin Madison []
I respectfully urge you to not move this bill to the full committee. We know that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime and is extremely costly to implement. It would be a waste of tax dollars, given that Iowa already has life in prison for firstdegree murder. The risk of the death penalty being applied to innocent people and the fact that it is applied disproportionately to people of color make it immoral, as well.
01-13-2021
Steven Martens []
The only purpose the death penalty serves is retribution and providing the public with a completely unjustified sense of safety. There is no evidence that it is a deterrent of violent crime. Most importantly, our criminal justice system is based on the judgement of jurors and judges who are fallible. There can be no question that innocent people have been put to death in this country. In a country that claims to value human life, that is unacceptable. A proposal to bring back the death penalty serves no practical purpose and solves no existing problem.
01-13-2021
Jane Alderman []
I am writing in opposition to SSB1004. Beside the fact that it is the taking of a life, studies have shown that Black people are disportionately given the death penalty and there have been too many times where we found out the person was not guilty of the crime. These are some of the moral reasons not to pursue it. But also fiscally, the death penality has been shown to be more expensive than lifetime inprisonment. We can use that money for education/mental health/etc. to hopefully avoid more crimes in the first place.
01-13-2021
Todd Struthers []
What a nightmare of a way to start a legislative session. Iowa has been a leader in this area for years and somehow we want to go back on this, inhumanity, barbarity, costly, and ultimately kills innocent ppl, about 5% of the time. Iowa nice will truly be dead if this passes
01-13-2021
Phoebe McNeece []
I find the idea that Iowa is considering to reinstate the death penalty abhorrent. Ignoring the facts that the death penalty functions only as vengeance and not as a deterrent, that innocent people could be put to death, and that it will cost the state more to reimplement don't you think you should focus on me immediate issues to help Iowans? You can choose to be public servants or you can choose to be morally reprehensible.
01-13-2021
Patricia Stalter [Woodward Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)]
The death penalty is cruel punishment and irreversible. As a pastor I take literally, "Thou shalt not kill." God is live and is the ultimate judge. In a democracy when the state executes anyone, the death is on all of us. Iowa has been without the death penalty. Let's keep it that way.Research shows the death penalty does not act as a deterrent. Leave this form of justice to God.
01-13-2021
Indira Sheumaker []
The death penalty is an irreversible punishment that has a history of being misapplied. If charges are overturned the punishment sticks. This will also be disproportionately applied and used to target vulnerable populations, especially black and brown individuals, and those with language barriers, and those with mental disabilities. To support this bill is to further the genocide of Black Iowans. I advise you scrap this.
01-13-2021
Patricia Stalter [Woodward Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)]
The death penalty is cruel punishment and irreversible. As a pastor I take literally, "Thou shalt not kill." God is love and is the ultimate judge. In a democracy when the state executes anyone, the death is on all of us. Iowa has been without the death penalty. Let's keep it that way.Research shows the death penalty does not act as a deterrent. Leave this form of justice to God.
01-13-2021
Michael Brodie []
Killing is wrong, no matter how just the reasons may seem at the time. By reinstating capital punishment the State is taking a deeply immoral position and undermining it's own moral authority. Killing a criminal does not undo their crime, it only makes the State complicit in evil. If you are prolife, you must be against the death penalty. That is the only consistent and compassionate position that can be taken.The justice system can never be 100% accurate 100% of the time so any system that puts people to death will inherently end up killing innocent people every such failure represents a statecommitted homicide. Voting to allow the death penalty will impose that moral burden on every single resident of this state. No person or governing body has the moral right to make those sorts of decisions on behalf of another person.Please do not force every Iowan to have blood on our hands. Please choose justice over vengance.
01-13-2021
Charles Hodges []
Please vote no. This is state sanctioned retribution killing. Iowa should be better than this. Particularly coming from Senators that purport to be Pro Life.
01-13-2021
Zebulun Treloar []
As an Episcopal priest, I teach the value of life. State sanctioned murder does not uphold our values of life. It doesn't matter what the person did, what matters is that we do not retaliate with murder in return for their actions. Not only is it unnecessary, it is cost prohibitive. We, as Iowans, have a long history of dealing with violent crimes without resorting to the death penalty, one that properly places the offenders in prison for the rest of their lives, and it works well. There is no reason to invest our time and money into building a system that won't make us any safer and will in fact teach our children that some lives are disposable.
01-13-2021
Brittany Vesey []
Im leaving a comment to note my opinion that the death penalty should not be reinstated in our state. It is a morally repugnant practice and not an act of a civilised society. Nor is it a cost effective measure. Not to mention, what gives the state the authority to determine who should live and die? More often than not, they get it wrong and punish the wrong individual. Do the right thing and do not bring back such a barbaric practice to our state.
01-13-2021
Suzanne Lang []
Bringing the death penalty back is immoral, ineffective, and not prolife. Iowa already locks BIPoC up at higher rates than are represented in the population, and to bring the death penalty back it would surely impact these communities unfairly.
01-13-2021
Whitney Free []
This is disgusting. Capital punishment is terrible and so is debating this with so many other things going on that are significantly more important. Come on, Iowa. Be better.
01-13-2021
John Wiedenheft []
Please do not pass SSB 1004. Even in the best of times, the death penalty should never be on the table as an option. Over 70% of the world's countries have abolished the death penalty. Why can't the United States join them?Keep the death penalty out of Iowa.
01-13-2021
Tim Diebel []
As a Christian, a retired minister, and as a citizen, I am eager to raise my voice in opposition to any bill proposing a return of civilized people to the barbarism of capital punishment. I urge you to vote against any such regression.
01-13-2021
Connor Ruggles []
Capital punishment is inhumane. It implies the convicted person will never show regret for what they did, that they wont be able to be rehabilitated. Any system where the death penalty is legal shows to its people that it does not believe people are good. Iowa will become a worse place if this is allowed to pass. This is such a violent and unnecessary form of punishment. On top of all of that, there is always the possibility that the convicted person is actually innocent. For that reason alone it should be enough to not do this. The risk of executing an innocent person is greater than zero which is much much too high. Having the death penalty also flies in the face of everyone who supports it and then claims they are pro life. If every life is precious, why take someones away from them? It would be a giant mistake to do this. Please vote NO on SSB 1004.
01-13-2021
Denzil Miller [For the people]
The death penalty has put so many wrongly accused people to death. And in a world, country, and state, where black men and women are arrested and charged at much higher rates than white people for the same crime this is a extremely racist bill. The only reason you people are trying to put it to law is so you can kill more black people and get away with it.
01-13-2021
Graham Bechman []
The death penalty is a cruel and ineffective deterrent to violent crime; I disrespectfully ask that you oppose this bill, as the fact it's even being considered is disgraceful.
01-13-2021
Adam Callanan []
This most severe punishment solves nothing and adds more violence to our lives. People who commit these heinous crimes are not discouraged by this penalty. The penalty does however lead the government to kill innocent people. The government should not have the power to take away life. This punishment is also expensive. We should instead invest money in supporting victims.
01-13-2021
Madeline Nachtman []
This is absolutely disgraceful. With a pandemic out of control, the death penalty should be the last thing our legislature looks at right now. It has been proven that the death penalty is racially biased, as BIPOC individuals are more likely to be put on death row and more likely to actually be put to death. It is expensive, inhumane, and not used in most states. I would urge Iowas legislators to not set Iowa back any further on racial and criminal justice.
01-13-2021
Sylvia Messerole []
The death penalty is costly and ineffective. I oppose this bill. Life without parole functions the same way. Even debating this is a waste of time and taxpayer money.
01-13-2021
Julie McKee []
Iowa should NOT adopt the death penalty. There are so many more effective ways to work against crime in our state.
01-13-2021
Angelo Rossi []
The death penalty is inhumane and should remain abolished. We need to focus on creating new institutions that work to prevent crime rather than react with punishment after the fact. Bringing back the death penalty is not progress.
01-13-2021
Paige Lock []
The death penalty is antiquated. It does not reflect our history nor our morality, as decent human beings and Iowans. To reinstate the death penalty after decades would be a disgrace and blight on our state. It is a rotten and thankfully long forgotten cruelty. There is no need to reserve course.
01-13-2021
Kathryn Sogard []
I am submitting a comment regarding SSB 1004. I urge all members to vote no on this item. The death penalty is repugnant. Our justice system has many flaws and allowing the death penalty in Iowa as a punishment would just add to those flaws not move toward a more just system for all.
01-13-2021
Jill Martinez []
Absolutely not! The death penalty has always been meted out to people of color and others with less privilege. This is the opposite of progress.
01-13-2021
Courtney Beck []
This is absolutely reprehensible. Iowans are dying due to COVID, yet rather than offering aid to struggling individuals and families to keep us healthy and save lives, the Iowa Senate has decided to legislate that yet more lives should be taken by the state. Enough of this nonsense. Do your jobs to protect Iowans rather than reinstating something as unnecessary, costly, and violent as the death penalty. Vote NO to this bill.
01-13-2021
Mikala Clark []
The death penalty is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Reinstating the death penalty in Iowa will not reduce crime nor do anything but provide further harm to communities. The death penalty is neither cost effective nor moral and this must be voted down.
01-13-2021
Traci Kirtley []
The death penalty serves no positive function in society. It is not a deterrent, it is not cheaper than life without parole, and any mistakes in conviction are irreversible. And, as a Christian, I find it immoral. This state has major issues to tacklecontrolling a pandemic, helping people pay for college, cleaning up our water, fixing a broken mental health system. This is a waste of time, please do not proceed with this bill.
01-13-2021
Rachel Bruns []
Please oppose this bill. The state should not be in the business of killing people. The death penalty is unfair, unnecessary, ineffective, costly, and morally wrong. Respectfully submitted.
01-13-2021
Amy Knapp []
I oppose the death penalty. I do not want this bill passed.
01-13-2021
Anne Mayer []
Why is your first legislative priority to legalize killing your citizens? This is spiteful, disrespectful, and misguided, not to mention immoral. It sends a message that you prefer to kill people more than you want to help us.
01-13-2021
Lori Diebel []
I am a lifelong Iowan, retired public educator, Christian, ministers wife, & longtime participant in alternative justice initiatives. I strongly oppose any efforts to institute the death penalty in this fine state.
01-13-2021
Rick Widman []
Just recently on 60 Minutes: Curtis Flowers, tried six times for the same crime, was saved from death row. Not Guilty.Dont change something that isnt broken.
01-13-2021
Wayne Judkins []
We do not need executions in Iowa. What we need is to address root causes of crime with open eyes as to the inequities present in all of our systems. The death penalty is nothing more than barbarism. Its not a deterrent and its expensive to mete out as well.
01-13-2021
Aidan Zingler [Aidan Zingler]
Please do NOT reinstate the death penalty. This does not make us safer. This causes harm, and often those who are innocent and discriminated against may get trapped on death row. We should be pushing for transformative justice techniques and not more death and punitive punishment. The moment we open the door for one offense, the door gets swung open wider for more and more beyond this initial idea. So please do not reinstate the death penalty for any offense. We can find better ways to hold people accountable for the harm done. Thanks.
01-13-2021
Brittney Rysdam []
In a state like Iowa where racism and misinformation abound, we have no room for the death penalty. Forensic science is getting more advanced each day. A man who has been on death row for 26 years was recently found innocent thanks to updated, improved science. Imagine if he had been put to death unjustly? We cannot subject Iowans to this danger
01-13-2021
Gabrielle Wessels []
I FULLY oppose this bill. No one, no matter what they have done, should be executed by the state. This bill is evil.
01-13-2021
Tyler Higgs []
People on death row have had their convictions overturned based on new evidence that exonerates them. I'd rather not have the murder of an innocent person be committed in my name.
01-13-2021
Kevin Ha []
ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY
01-13-2021
Shane Manship []
Vote no for the death penalty in Iowa. Its a step backwards for our state.
01-13-2021
Robb Jones []
Capital punishment is costly, ineffective, immoral and racist.
01-13-2021
Logan Reed []
Don't legalize the death penalty. Jesus wouldn't want it. The story of His life and death is the perfect example of the many innocent people who are put to death by the state. It is an overreach that you will have to atone for when you reach the pearly gates.
01-13-2021
chelsea chism-vargas []
Death Penalty? What year is this 1600s? Can yall stop? Why would we want to kill someone? The death penalty is proven to be a racist project. The death penalty violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment. It is a project which disproportionately murders Black people and its an extremely barbaric practice. I do not support bringing the death penalty back to Iowa, ever. It also doesnt stop people from committing crimes. Death penalty sucks. Bad. Do not recommend passing this bill. I recommend stopping this bill and never introducing it again.
01-13-2021
Jason Smith []
Killing people who have killed people has never been proven to be a deterrent to further killing. Additionally, as a remedy, it proves the immorality of a society that uses it.
01-13-2021
Jane Morey []
I cannot state in strong enough terms my opposition to the creation of a new death penalty in Iowa. The state has absolutely no compelling interest that is advanced by choosing to execute people who are held at its mercy. Our prison system is already profoundly wasteful and inhumane, and to add further cruelty to our carceral system is unthinkable. Revenge is not justice, it does not heal. I urge the members of this subcommittee to reject SSB 1004.
01-13-2021
Heather Clark []
The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. It's known for being applied in an unfair and unjust manner. Innocent people are sentenced to death much too often and POC are more likely to be executed. It is proven not to be a deterrent, and does not make things more safe. It has a negative effect on taxpayers, and will cost the state more money than keeping prisoners in for life without parole. Most importantly though, if you claim to respect life, you cannot argue for the deliberate killing of others. It is inhumane and should be abolished everywhere, not brought back to Iowa.
01-13-2021
Ryan Haynes []
Reinstating the death penalty in Iowa is an outrageous, immoral, and illinformed idea. Capital punishment has been proven to be an extremely expensive and ineffective deterrent. Such financial and political resources would be better spent reforming our criminal justice system to focus on prevention and rehabilitation.
01-13-2021
Jesse Renny []
Please dont reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. Its immoral, and racist.
01-13-2021
Lenin Cardwell []
Please vote NO on this bill. The death penalty is cruel and inhumane. In a state where people of color, and especially Black people, are already disproportionately targeted by our law enforcement and our criminal justice system, this will unfairly harm communities and families of color in our state. In the middle of a pandemic we should be seeing what we can do to HELP our fellow Iowans instead of hurting them further.
01-13-2021
Ivy Winn []
The death penalty should not be reinstated. In every state its been reinstated in crime has only got worse. Not to mention the fact its so costly. Its immoral and becomes even more immoral when you consider the fact that people of color especially black people get sent to death row proportionally more than white people. Who in many cases are wrongfully convicted.
01-13-2021
Devon McClurken []
No one that can claim to be prolife should be for the death penalty. It does not deter and history has shown our justice system can get it wrong. Just one life unjustly taken by the state is too many. Keeping people on death row also is a huge tax burden to the people.
01-13-2021
Terry Lowman []
Because humans make mistakes, using the death penalty is rife with potential errors. What's wrong with life without parole and if there's a mistake, we don't have to wish we could bring people back from the dead to correct it.
01-13-2021
Katie Hitchcock []
We should not bring back the death penalty. It is barbaric and has no place in today's world.
01-13-2021
Jessica Brewbaker-Hills []
I do not support the reinstatement of the death penality. The death penalty does not decrease crime. Plus, if one innocent person is put to death its not worth it.
01-13-2021
Ajla Rosic []
Vote no to reinstating the death penalty. Its cruel punishment and its costly for tax payers.I cant believe were still actually even arguing this. Whoever went out of their way to actively pursue this again is probably a sociopath.
01-13-2021
Molly Sterner []
Im shocked to learn that the first item that the first action taken is so despicable. Serve the people of Iowa and at least pretend to really be pro life. The death penalty is barbaric, does not serve the interests or the needs of Iowans.
01-13-2021
Haley Nixt []
Vote no on this bill. Capital punishment is inefficient, expensive, and has been proven to not deter crime. This is not a priority for the state of Iowa and its citizens when we are in the middle of a pandemic. Attention, energy, and money should be focused on midigating effects of the pandemic instead or increasing treatment for mental illness or keeping Iowa's waterways clean and preserving its parks. Vote no.
01-13-2021
Zachary Latting []
I oppose the reinstatement of any capital punishment. There are many obvious problems with such sentences. Wrongful convictions, the cost to the state and taxpayers, possibilities of botched executions resulting in extreme suffering, and the innate cruel and unusual nature of the punishment are but a few. The death penalty has no place in civilized society. Please vote this proposed legislation down. Iowa should be setting an example of rehabilitation, not vindictive punishment.
01-13-2021
Michael Fleming-Wiegand []
No society can call itself civilized that sanctions state sponsored murder. Iowa does not need the death penalty.
01-13-2021
Rev. Beth Harbaugh [United Methodist Church]
Aside from all the costly, and psychological reasons from society, the main reason I do not want you to vote for capital punishment is because it changes us as human beings. It changes our identity. How can you speak for people in our state and make them culpable for killing another human being. You are going to use my taxes to change my identity as a citizen to be a murderer? NO! I don't give you permission to make this happen in my name. Life is always precious. Do not take us down to the level of the one that murdered out of hate or mental illness. We are human beings!
01-13-2021
Sam Caughron [Citizen, Northern Iowa Student Government At-Large Senator]
Please deny and oppose this bill. The death penalty is morally wrong and is unnecessary in a functioning and civil society. If members of this legislature are really prolife, they will oppose this legislation.
01-13-2021
Christopher Stewart []
Capital punishment is a waste of time, money, and life. The hypocrisy of the state taking lives as punishment for, amongst other, less serious crimes, taking a life, should be obvious on its face.
01-13-2021
Alexander Gray []
I respectfully urge you to vote NO to SSB 1004. The death penalty is an outdated, cruel and barbaric form of punishment. We are better than the death penalty.
01-13-2021
Leah Waller []
I do not support this bill because death penalty is not an effective way to reduce crime or create a safer society. Efforts should instead be put toward rehabilitation and peoples physical and mental wellbeing.
01-13-2021
Zoe Swinton []
Absolutely not. Capital punishment is not okay. Under any circumstances. Ever. No one should ever be murdered, especially by the state in charge of protecting them. The accusation of a crime does not at all alter this inherent moral obligation. This should not even be up for debate.
01-13-2021
Thomas Brantseg []
The death penalty is immoral especially given the racial and economic disparity inherent in the justice system and will not prevent or deter any of these crimes.
01-13-2021
Harleigh Boldridge []
Across the nation the death penalty has been disproportionately used to execute Black and Brown people effectively legalizing genocide for prosecutors across our state. The death penalty has no place in Iowa.
01-13-2021
Sara Coburn []
Our justice system is plagued by systemic inequalities. There is no room for human error and bias when it comes to matters of life and death. Many innocent people have been exonerated after spending years on death row. That alone should be a chilling enough reminder of how final such a mistake can be, and we have certainly made it. Do not reinstate this barbaric, backwards revengefantasy dressed up as punishment.
01-13-2021
Noreen Rodriguez [Noreen Rodriguez]
I staunchly oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa. The fact that this is the first bill heading to subcommittee during a pandemic is disgusting.
01-13-2021
Max Dreher []
As a matter of policy, the death penalty comes at an uneccessarily inflated cost to taxpayers in the form of lengthy trial and appeal processes that often do not end in the death penalty anyway.
01-13-2021
Abby Kate []
ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY. There is no good reason to reinstate the death penalty. Its disgusting to see people celebrate someone being executed. It is i humane and wrong. NPR recently put out an article that said researchers found that people who are put to death by lethal injection suffer painfully before they pass. DO NOT reinstate the death penalty. Abolish it. Fix our prison system. Our disgusting, racist, transphobic, forprofit prison system.
01-13-2021
Micah Bascom []
Sheer barbarism. The death penalty has no place in a civil society.
01-13-2021
Emily McGuire []
The death penalty is ineffective and unethical. It has been proven to not deter crimes nor cause healing. I strongly oppose the death penalty.
01-13-2021
Troy Olson []
I couldnt be more disappointed that this is what our representatives are spending their time debating. The death penalty has no place in Iowa, vote no on this bill and move onto actual work that is needed by Iowans. You dont get to claim to be pro life and support state sponsored murder.
01-13-2021
Cecilia Smith []
The death penalty is a cruel and ineffective deterrent to violent crime; I ask you oppose this bill, as the fact it's even being considered is abhorrent.
01-13-2021
Kristin Woods []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty is governmentsanctioned murder and a violation of prolife values.
01-13-2021
Marie Larchick []
Do NOT reinstate the death penalty. It is immoral and is NOT prolife as you profess that you are. It is not a deterrent to crime. This is NOT a priority in the middle of a pandemic.
01-13-2021
Alexandra Klinsky []
I am writing with a plea to vote in opposition of reinstating the death penalty. The loss of life does nothing for crime prevention or rehabilitation. It is both immoral and costly. This is not an effective means of justice, and I pray you will not support its reinstatement.
01-13-2021
Giovanni Bahena []
The state should not have the right to kill its people. A state the executes its own people does not work for the people. One of Americas promises is Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, and allowing state sanctioned murder does not fall under any of those promises.A vote for the dearth penalty is a vote that may come back to you. A vote against it keeps you safe from it.
01-13-2021
Alyssa Tauber []
The death penalty is cruel and more expensive for the state than a life sentence. There is no need or reason to bring it back. Please focus on things that will actually help Iowans, like getting us through the pandemic.
01-13-2021
Nate Spacek [CITIZEN]
The dearth penalty should not be considered, let alone reinstated in Iowa for many reasons, most compelling are that it is: 1) grotesque and inhumane 2) it is costly3) the death penalty reifies an idea, which is that justice for one death can be achieved through the death of another. That is wrong. Humanity first.
01-13-2021
PADEN SHEUMAKER []
I do not support having a death penalty in Iowa. There is no reason that we should find ourselves so above other human beings that we give ourselves the right to murder them. This is nothing more than a shameless demonstration of needing to feel powerful and exert that power over people you see as lesser. This is made more clear when we see that death sentences cost exorbitantly more than even life sentences to carry out. They are often carried out on innocent people and we should not be trying to murder anyone. Enough people have died in this state due to government inaction on Covid19. Don't make your first action putting the death of more Iowans on your hands.
01-13-2021
Andrea Geary []
I respectfully ask that this bill be dismissed and not forwarded to the full committee. In my opinion, and one supported by the ACLU, the death penalty qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment an act of which is constitutionally banned. Furthermore, Iowa has yet to establish itself as a state wherein which there are not gross racial disparities among those charged and sentenced for crimes. Let's sort out our issues with regard to systemic racism in the criminal justice system before we start killing people. I could not more strongly oppose this bill.
01-13-2021
Max Goetz []
I oppose reinstating the death penalty.
01-13-2021
Rev. Kristin Peters [Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) ]
As an ordained minister and hospital chaplain, I have dedicated my life to the inherent good and healing of humanity. I take seriously the Christian processes of confession, repentance, and atonement for wrongful acts done by people in order that they may seek rightrelationships with God and neighbor. It is my conviction that humans cannot and should never take life, and that no cause is just in doing so. While abhorrent crimes against human beings, especially children, must have consequences, there is no dignified path to reconciliation, healing, or rehabilitation for a person through capital punishment. The racism inherent in the existence and execution of capital punishment in our nations history must also be considered, and with it the 167 known exonerations of prisoners since 1973 to date. According to an article published by Michigan Law School titled Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States, it is 7 times MORE likely for innocent Black folks to be convicted of murder than innocent White folks. And, a Black prisoner serving time for sexual assault is 3 times MORE likely to be innocent than White prisoners. The statistics highlight the White Supremacy present and inherent in the justice system. The rate and way Black (BIPOC) bodies have been targeted and discarded by the State is atrocious. In conclusion, as a Christian minister I believe in the power of transformation. I believe in the ability and the power of mercy and forgiveness. For the most heinous crimes, we must ask ourselves the humbling question of authority over human life and if meeting violence with more violence has ever brought about healing and wholeness for humanity? Please, reject this bill and seek opportunities of redemption, not punitive violence upheld by a democracy that claims to be just and is often simply wrong.
01-13-2021
Sydney Devine []
Hello,Im writing against the death penalty. Murder is wrong. State sanctioned murder is no different.Love, Sydney Devine
01-13-2021
Megan McGuire []
The death penalty is a barbaric and ineffective deterrent to crime. It does not value human life. It is unconscionable for the state to become a murderer. The death penalty does not decrease violent crime. Please do not allow this shameful practice to be reinstated in Iowa.
01-13-2021
Lisa Hughes []
Please vote No on reinstating the death penalty. Those that would be given the task of prosecuting or defending a death penalty case, judging the case, being a juror are only humans and as a human are at risk of making an error. How can we be sure that a single defendant is not put to death in error? These crimes are horrible and they should be punished by having life in prison and no chance of parole.
01-13-2021
Monica Johnson []
No government official can claim to be prolife if they support the death penalty. Not only is the death penalty inhumane, it is used as another tool for our racist justice system to oppress BIPOC.
01-13-2021
Emily Rizvic []
I am strongly opposed the death penalty. If you are a legislator that believes in prolife than this better apply. One too many times in history, have individuals wrongly accused of crimes died at the hands of the government. Please, if you have any respect for the residents of Iowa, dont support this bill.
01-13-2021
Lindsey Darland []
The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment that has an irreversible outcome. It does not provide justice, only vengeance. It will not deter crime. Further, its more costly than lifewithoutparole sentences. I implore you to vote NO on SSB 1004.
01-13-2021
Montse Bravo []
Please vote NO to SSB 104. Capitol punishment is an outdated concept and must be replaced with rehabilitation of those who committed crimes.
01-13-2021
Anna Lensing []
I am against the death penalty in Iowa.
01-13-2021
Matthew Johnson []
I cannot believe that this is even being considered. How is adding more death a solution? There have been countless cases of wrongfully convicted people being killed by our judicial system. What benefit is there to running the risk of adding more? Please vote no.
01-13-2021
Kiran Kearney []
Its absolutely disgusting that this is even coming up to vote on. Anyone who votes yes for the death penalty is morally bankrupt. All life, no matter what, should be respected.
01-13-2021
Tyler Breed []
Immoral, unjust, with no path for redemption for those who may be wrongly convicted
01-13-2021
Vanessa Moranchel []
There is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than long terms of imprisonment. States that have death penalty laws do not have lower crime rates or murder rates than states without such laws.ACLUThere is literally no reason to reinstate the death penalty. I am requesting that you do not pass this preposterous legislation.Thank you.
01-13-2021
Noah Petersen []
Were in the middle of a pandemic and the first bill you want to pass is a bill to kill people? Check your priorities. The death penalty is an antiquated unjust method that has no place being reinstated.
01-13-2021
Nathan Williams []
As a Christian pastor, I believe in redemption and preach love for my enemies. Contrary to my religious values, capital punishment would cut off the possibility of repentance and forgiveness, and it returns evil for evil. The death penalty fails to deter crime, disproportionately affects defendants of color, and leads to excessively expensive trials and appeals. There is no justification for this bill. Sincerely,Rev. Nathan Williams
01-13-2021
Harrison Walker []
Not only is the death penalty ineffective at reducing crime, more expensive than housing an inmate for life, and completely morally repugnant, we are also in the midst of a time of massive death that has killed thousands of Iowans. The priority for the legislature should not now (or ever) be on killing more Iowans.
01-13-2021
Jessica Mullenix []
Please vote No. State sponsored murder is still murder. Don't legalize murder of any kind. I would never live in a state that supported murder of any kind or for any reason. Be Iowa nice!
01-13-2021
Allison Uhll []
The death penalty is unethical, expensive and ineffective. It is our duty as a society to establish what is acceptable and what is unacceptable to enact upon our fellow man. There is no argument that taking the life of another is wrong, and we should not lower ourselves to the level of death penalty. A life sentence is perfectly appropriate and effective for these very rare and serious offenses.
01-13-2021
Julie Persons []
The right to life exists in the Constitution. Iowa cannot supersede the Constitution. Also, it is more expensive to kill someone via death penalty than to just leave them in prison. That cost will be passed on to the Iowa tax payers. I would rather my money go to schools.
01-13-2021
Daniel Quill []
The government has no right to enforce the death penalty. Nobody with a soul supports this. Its insane how the same people who advocate for small government are the same people who think the government has the right to kill its citizens. Dont do this.
01-13-2021
George Callaway []
The United States is the only country in the Americas and Europe other than Belarus to continue to have and use the death penalty. Belarus is a postcommunist dictatorship. It is in violation of the spirit of the Eighth Amendment of the US constitution and is wholly immoral. If you call yourself a Christian and vote to reinstate the death penalty, consider rereading the bible or consulting clergy (who have read the Bible).
01-13-2021
Laura Olson []
Why youre wasting everyones time with this is beyond me. The death penalty is immoral and disgusting. Iowa got rid of it for a reason. Lets keep it that way. You dont get to have it both ways. You dont get to be prolife and pro death penalty.
01-13-2021
Vivian Kasey [- Select -]
The death penalty is an abhorrent relic of retribution which does not allow for the possibility of error in our legal system or the presence of mental illness in the perpetrator of a crime. Errors are made in our legal system. Life without parole is sufficient punishment. Death is permanent. Creating a state sanctioned murderer of an executioner does not resolve the initial crime. It only creates an unending circle of violence without end. Who then shall execute the executioner?
01-13-2021
Vivian Kasey [- Select -]
The death penalty is an abhorrent relic of retribution which does not allow for the possibility of error in our legal system or the presence of mental illness in the perpetrator of a crime. Errors are made in our legal system. Life without parole is sufficient punishment. Death is permanent. Creating a state sanctioned murderer of an executioner does not resolve the initial crime. It only creates an unending circle of violence without end. Who then shall execute the executioner?
01-13-2021
Jill Johnson-West []
The death penalty is costly and ineffective. Sometimes innocent people are killed. Aren't you supposed to be the party of prolife? The death penalty is prodeath.
01-13-2021
Jacob Grobe []
Moving to reinstate the death penalty is archaic. It would solidify the modern Republican party as the most antilife party in history.
01-13-2021
Caitlyn Spencer []
VOTE NO. How can we collectively decide murder is wrong but condone the government executing its own citizens? To the allegedly prolife individuals considering voting yes to this, reevaluate your moral code.
01-13-2021
Katherine Eckhouse []
Do NOT reinstate the death penalty in our state. It is unjust and fundamentally wrong.
01-13-2021
Katherine Eckhouse []
Do NOT reinstate the death penalty in our state. It is unjust and fundamentally wrong.
01-13-2021
Priscilla Raile []
Vote no and abolish the death penalty!
01-13-2021
Beth Younger [Drake University]
Please do not reinstate the death penalty for any reason. It is costly and inhumane. Iowa is better than this.
01-13-2021
Elizabeth Happ []
I strongly oppose the further discussion of this bill. The penalty of death is an archaic and abhorrent practice. The charges outlined in the bill are horrific, of course, I dont think that there is disagreement there. But is it not equally horrific to make the decision that someone convicted of these charges is not deserving of life, under the guise of law? We are past an eye for an eye law and order and there is absolutely no need to regress. Do not null the progress that has been made. Surely the people of Iowa are not regularly emailing, calling, and commenting for the reinstatement of the death penalty. Once again, as a constituent of Winneshiek County and a proud Iowa State alumni, I strongly OPPOSE this bill.
01-13-2021
Denver Foote []
This is wildly immoral and corrupt. The death penalty is extremely unnecessary in all cases. Iowa is better then this. What is necessary is funding into our communities. What is necessary is funding into mental health. What is necessary is treating the root of the problem instead of disposing of human life. Why, in our culture, do we find human life so disposable?
01-13-2021
Jaylen Cavil []
The state has no business killing anyone. Our state already disproportionately arrests and convicts Black people at a disgusting rate. The renewal of the death penalty will only further state sanctioned racist violence. It has been proven that the death penalty does not deter crime. Many innocent people are killed because of the death penalty. This is inhumane.
01-13-2021
Zoey Miller []
Please vote no on SSB 1004. I believe there is a moral imperative to oppose the death penalty.
01-13-2021
Kathleen Foley []
The death penalty is a bad economic choice and an atrocious moral choice. Death penalty cases are estimated to be significantly more expensive for the state (after appeals) than a life sentence. The act of putting someone to death is barbaric and should not, under any circumstances, be allowed in the pragmatic state of Iowa. Reinstating the death penalty is the wrong choice and, quite frankly, there is no moral or factual basis to support it.
01-13-2021
Anna Moellenbeck []
Please vote NO on this bill. The death penalty is not only immoral but costly. Its not right to take a life for a life, and doing so isnt any better than the crime that was committed.
01-13-2021
Emily Bickel []
No to the death penalty absolutely not!!! No to the death penalty
01-13-2021
Micah McCutchan []
The death penalty is morally reprehensible & does not belong in Iowa or any other state. Leave this violent & antiquated form of justice in the past where it belongs.
01-13-2021
Scott Vlasic []
The incorrect conviction of just one person is too much to justify this kind of law.
01-13-2021
Julia Bullard []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004. It is well documented that the death penalty does not deter crime, is applied disproportionately to marginalized populations, and there are many instances of unjust convictions if even one more person is executed who is innocent, that is one person too many. Iowa should spend its tax dollars on programs that are proven to help prevent violence and improve our communities, rather than supporting a costly punishment that is both ineffective and immoral.
01-13-2021
Katherine Mott []
Please do not reinstate the death penalty.
01-13-2021
Chase Seibert []
Thou shall not kill. What kind of state do we want to be?
01-13-2021
Jessica Parrish []
Reintroducing the death penalty is financially and ethically irresponsible. The death penalty does not reduce violent crime. The money Iowa would spend to convict a death case could be spent on social programs that reduce the likelyhood of a crime being committed in the first place.
01-13-2021
Kelly Frett []
You must vote no. We cannot go back to state sponsored murder. We cannot fight violence with more violence and brutality. Please vote no.
01-13-2021
Amy Kraber []
I am asking our legislators to oppose this bill and to not reinstate the death penalty in Iowa.
01-13-2021
Erin Gill []
Why on Earth would this even be made priority? There is no place for this in civilized society.
01-13-2021
Rachel Vipond []
Please vote no on SSB 1004. The death penalty is morally indefensible and has not been proven to deter crime while at the same time disproportionately harming BIPOC communities. There are also many in prison for crimes they did not commit, and the death penalty has historically murdered innocent civilians. There is no ethical way to vote in favor of this.
01-13-2021
James Sederquist []
As a resident of Iowa, I oppose this bill moving forward.
01-13-2021
Luke Bascom []
There is absolutely no rational reason to reinstate the death penalty. Not only does it not prevent crime, but it is immoral to take anyone's life no matter the actions they've chosen in their past. It's also important to note that the death penalty has been used in discriminatory ways previously, mirroring the racist incarceration and criminal justice systems that exist. So many cases of folks ending up on death row and being found wrongly accused/charged for crimes they did not commit. That is not a risk we can take. Further, wy would we adopt an eye for an eye method of serving justice. It won't prevent crime from occurring and will leave another family grieving.
01-13-2021
Bill Nellans [None]
No to the death penalty. Dont even consider it.Were not a bunch of heathens. It is wrong.Plain and simple.Wrong!
01-13-2021
omar waheed []
The death penalty is an archaic and ineffective deterrent for crimes. There has never any been any correlating proof the the possibility of death as a punishment deters people from murder. It is immoral from all theological and nontheological stand points. It is unethical in it's waste in resources. Shame on the person or persons who thought bring this back was a good idea and an absolute fuck you to anyone who votes to move this forward
01-13-2021
Marlowe Rold []
Leave it to Brad Zanuck to open the legislative season with a bill that does not address the immediate problems of his constituents or the people of Iowa. He proves his biases and objectives by his actions and words. Do not vote for this bill
01-13-2021
Michelle Devine []
Judge not....There are too many factors that come in to play here and basically taking a life is not warranted even if that person has been convicted of killing someone. Self defense is different. We had no idea what all the factors were in causing the accused to do the crime and there have Ben too many cases of wrong convictions. I oppose the death penalty.
01-13-2021
Josip Tito [SFRJ]
Lol. No thanks
01-13-2021
Jackie Hammers-Crowell []
I oppose the death penalty. It is barbaric, costly, and does not serve as a deterrent for people who would commit crimes. There have also been numerous cases of people who have been on death row or who have already been executed who have then been found to be innocent. reinstating the death penalty in Iowa would be a step backward for our state.
01-13-2021
Kate Hall []
This bill does not reflect the values of Iowans. Killing a prisoner doesn't teach the guilty person anything. It is barbaric and only serves to devalue life. If the majority party say they value life then please set this bill aside and work on bills that will *add to the value of life in Iowa (not take away life): Covid relief, housing, feeding the hungry, childcare for working families, public education, infrastructure, help for small businesses, worker trainer and so much more. Let's roll up our sleeves and get busy helping Iowans. Peace and good health to you all,Kate Hall
01-13-2021
Marisa Lipp []
Every human deserves a chance at rehabilitation. Every human life matters and has the right to life. Nobody has the right to take the life of another human being, even if that human being has committed crimes. The risk of losing innocent lives is too great.
01-13-2021
Ennoh Muybueno []
Iowa's legislative leadership is an embarrassment if during a pandemic and absolute financial depression it has decided it needs to spend time, energy, and money discussing whether or not to bring back the death penalty. The people aren't stupid: we all know that the death penalty isn't going to be applied to the worst criminals of all the ruling class and its privatepropertyenforcers also known as police.
01-13-2021
Shannon Mulligan []
I oppose the death penalty. In a perfect world, we would be perfectly able to deliver justice, but unfortunately as long as humans oversee justice, it will be imperfect. We cannot allow such drastic measures to be made with a fallible system.
01-13-2021
Susan Moseley []
It is very possible an innocent person could receive the death sentence with irreversible consequences. This is not acceptable. Also, there is the likelihood of unjust discrimination in sentencing for certain individuals. Protecting life is a foundational belief of my faith and represents the moral code for many of the Iowans you are representing. Please oppose bill SSB 1004!
01-13-2021
Heather Fleming []
Please vote no for this proposition. In a time where people are dying, isnt this too much? Vote no.
01-13-2021
Victoria Reyna-Rodriguez []
The death penalty does not need to be reinstated in Iowa. There are countless of innocent people mostly brown and black men who have been wrongfully accused and sentenced to death. Just this past week, a man left death row after being on for 26 years, only to be found innocent thanks to modern day technology. What if he had been killed? At the hands of the government, then whos guilty? Plainly put, the death penalty is an outdated punishment that creates a vicious cycle. Why can a citizen not kill but his government can?
01-13-2021
Grant Becker []
The death penalty is immoral, costly, and repulsive. Vote No!
01-13-2021
Rachel Wente []
Please vote No on this bill. The death penalty is an inhumane punishment that no one deserves.
01-13-2021
Hannah Mossberg []
These crimes are horrific and must be punished, but this bill doesnt offer a just and effective mode of punishment. Capital punishment doesnt deter criminals and doesnt help the victims. Dispose of this ineffective, costly, and horrific bill now. Instead, draw a bull that will help the victims and their families pay for counseling. Create programs to fix the systemic problem that creates these criminals.
01-13-2021
Kimberly Graham []
If Iowa can't afford to provide better PPE for healthcare workers and essential workers right now, if we can't invest in child care and K12 public education, trade schools or colleges, or in medical care for the poor and middleincome folks, then we can't afford a death penalty. The death penalty is costly in moral and financial terms. History and science has proven that innocent people have been put to death later cleared by DNA evidence. Please stop focusing on this bill now and focus on what will save Iowans' lives from COVID, improve lives now and later, and save small businesses during this pandemic.
01-13-2021
Kelsey Culbertson []
Please vote NO! Putting people to death who have committed crimes does not right the wrong. There are other ways to ensure that the victims of these crimes get the justice they deserve, but killing those convicted is not the way to do it. Our criminal justice system disproportionately and unfairly incarcerates and convicts Black individuals. These people should not have to fear being wrongfully sentenced to death. There is no reason to kill people, especially in our corrupt system.
01-13-2021
Kaleb Schlatter []
I urge that the subcommittee not advance this bill.
01-13-2021
Leighia VanDam []
The death penalty has no legitimate place in the penal systems of a modern society. If you do not consider the act itself to be a violation of human rights and choose to disregard the 150+ folks who have been released from death row on grounds of innocence, consider the time between the trial and the actual time of the execution, which, in Europe, was indeed considered to be a cruel and inhumane punishment. The use of the death row phenomenon in argument about capital punishment is not used as a tool to ask lawmakers to feel bad for the accused, to sympathize with them. Instead, such an argument as this encourages lawmakers to recognize the constitutionality of capital punishment in regard to the death row phenomenon. If you cannot be convinced by arguments of ineffectiveness in preventing crime or the disproportionate effect the death penalty has on people of color, be convinced by the promise each representative made to uphold the Constitution.
01-13-2021
Nikki Rhodes []
It's disgusting to even consider restoring the death penalty.
01-13-2021
Lilly Lenning []
The death penalty is cruel and irreversible punishment. Bias and flaws in our legal system leads to the death penalty being applied at higher rates to Black populations and has lead to the deaths of innocent people. I oppose this bill completely.
01-13-2021
Beth Roy []
I oppose the death penalty. The horrific crimes described deserve a life sentence in the penitentiary without the possibility of parole. The death penalty has not been proven to be an effective deterrent. Death penalty cases result in extended court cases and a long cycle of appeals and stays. In order to value life we must not become the jury who takes life away.
01-13-2021
Chris Kinkor []
Iowa has shown an excellent example of how to deliver justice and exercise fiscal responsibility without putting people to death; according to research by Creighton University professor Dr. Ernie Gross the death penalty costs states with capital punishment an average of $23.2 million more per year than those with alternative sentencing. Please reject this bill as it does not make sense fiscally, morally, or practically for the state of Iowa.
01-13-2021
Delaney Logan []
There is absolutely no need for the reinstatement of the death penalty. Its benefits have been shown to be LITTLE TO NONE and the practice itself is from ancient times. We supposedly care about rehabilitation so lets act like it
01-13-2021
Shelley Skuster []
I oppose statesanctioned murder, and I think most people with prolife values and moral courage oppose the death penalty, too. Perhaps one could explain why this is a GOP priority in Iowa and what problem this proposed legislation is solving in the first place.
01-13-2021
Endi (Andy) Montalvo-Martínez []
The death penalty is a cruel and unusual punishment and implies the judicial system functions without error. Abolish the death penalty, we have a service to each other and we do not decide who is worthy of life.
01-13-2021
Delaney Logan []
Not to mention this is just another extremely disparate part of our criminal justice system
01-13-2021
Aaron Parsons []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty is not only cruel, but it is morally repugnant and does not belong in civil society. This bill needs to die in committee. I will not vote for politicians that vote in favor of capital punishment, no matter their party.
01-13-2021
Sean Carey []
The death penalty is a disgusting thing for our society to allow. Its morally wrong, and does nothing good for the society or victims. The timing and motivation of this bill is heartless considering we are in the middle of the pandemic, and the legislative body of the Iowa government has bigger things to tackle.
01-13-2021
Christian Martinez []
I implore all legislators to vote no on SSB 1004, as the death penalty has no place here in Iowa. In a time where the legislature should be focusing on saving lives, it is incredibly tone deaf that a bill proposing the opposite is one of the first in the session. The death penalty is immoral and archaic, as the government should not decide a persons fate. Additionally, life in prison is arguably a worse punishment. If the state is concerned with cutting prison costs, it should instead focus its resources on reducing the number of people incarcerated, through jailing fewer people for petty crimes such as marijuana possession.
01-14-2021
David DeHaan []
The death penalty is immoral, inefficient, and ineffective. It solves nothing. It resolves nothing. It improves nothing. It is not just, and it does not promote justice nor prevent injustice. Keep it in the past.
01-14-2021
Nicole Winebrenner []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty is unreasonable and excessive. It is cruel and unusual punishment and often wrongly enforced.
01-14-2021
Lauren Whitesitt []
If we want to be truly prolife, that means acknowledging and respecting each human life. Each person has inherit dignity and worth that cannot be stripped away by something they did. The death penalty has no place in creating a culture of life.
01-14-2021
Jai Shanata []
I am writing to express my strong opposition to SSB1004. I believe that it is always wrong for the government to kill people, except enemies during declared wars. Based on research that I have done, in most cases the death penalty costs more (on average) than life in prison. We can't afford this. And it is finalwe cannot be certain that the executed person was guilty, especially given new evidence and/or methods which could be found in future years. Some people who have been put on death row have subsequently been shown to be innocent. This is unacceptable. Many studies have shown that the death penalty has does not deter serious crime.As an Iowa resident who is also a person of color, I am deeply concerned that the death penalty is disproportionately harsh for marginalized groups, including my own. This is not consistent with our Midwestern values and the data clearly demonstrate that the death penalty is not fair to me and my family. I moved to Iowa, in part, because I had spent several years living in death penalty states (Louisiana and California) and I didn't want to live in fear anymore. In my work/living community I have close and strong relationships with many people of faith, including Catholics, who believe strongly in the Sanctity of life. Please oppose any efforts to enact the death penalty so that we do not marginalize people of faith, people of color, and people who are later determined to be innocent.
01-14-2021
Ann Distelhorst []
Capital punishment whatever the crime committed is beyond barbaric and cannot exist in a civilized society.
01-14-2021
Amanda Kellen []
The idea that any person should be punished for their crimes, no matter what those crimes may be, with death is abhorrent. A death sentence is not justice, but revenge. It is a punishment that allows one to think of the criminal as less than human. I vehemently oppose this on a moral level who are we to decide which of us is deserving of life or death? Furthermore, how will you prevent wrongful convictions? Even of you satisfy yourself with executions of criminals you feel deserve that punishment, what happens when you execute an innocent? If you intend to play the role of God, you'd better be as perfect as Him. Can you guaranty that? It would take an absurd amount of arrogance to claim that you could. Still others have already pointed out the costs of implementing the death penalty the training and infrastructure required. State funds that would be far better spent providing aid to victims than paying for bloodshed.
01-14-2021
Lauren Stewart []
I appose SSB 1004. The death penalty is not how we should strive to serve justice. It would be a huge step back to move this bill through. I am an Iowan against the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Reina Rabadan []
The death penalty is a crime itself. No one should have the control over life and death of another human. It has lead to countless executions of innocent individuals. The risk is way larger than the reward. Not to mention that bias and racism has been extremely prevalent in death penalty sentencing. Vote no for this inhumane and ungodly bill.
01-14-2021
Traer Schon []
As a native Iowan, I am appalled that a legislative priority during a time of so much pain and suffering is to codify this barbaric practice into law. As the last state in the country to grant voting rights to those convicted of felonies, I would hope there would be more of an effort to be in the right side of history particularly from a prolife majority. Iowans need help from their government, not statesanctioned murder. "I don't think the threshold question of the death penalty is, 'Do people deserve to die for the crimes they've committed?' I think the threshold question is, 'Do we deserve to kill?'" Bryan Stephenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative
01-14-2021
Meg Card []
I strongly oppose SSB 1004. Sen. Garrett, Bisignano and Schultz this bill cannot proceed. The death penalty breaches the right to live free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which is protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948. The inhumanity and bias of the death penalty has never been about deterring crime, a claim which has been widely discredited. It has instead been used to target and irreversibly penalize those with a less advantaged socioeconomic background or belonging to a racial, ethnic or religious minority. The death penalty has never been about public safety, it has only served as a means to systematically kill people who have limited access to legal representation, are in need of mental health resources and intervention and/or are being buried in a criminal justice system grounded in systemic racism. Studies spanning more than 35 years have shown there is a vast racial gap in death penalty cases, including a 2020 report from the Death Penalty Information Center that showed that since executions resumed in 1977, 295 AfricanAmerican defendants have been executed for interracial murders of white victims, while only 21 white defendants have been executed for interracial murders of African Americans. This sentence is delivered with staggering injustice. Individuals are being convicted and executed due to grossly unfair trials, on the basis of torturetainted evidence, coerced confessions and with inadequate legal representation. Its shameful. Its unconscionable. Its racist. And it also legitimizes all other harsh and discriminatory punishments in the American legal system. Frankly, this isnt 18th century BC, and Senator Brad Zaun isnt Hammurabi of Babylon. His introduction of this bill shows he could care less about public safety, deterring crime or securing justice. SSB 1004 was introduced and designed to be cruel, inhumane, senseless and to target the most vulnerable in our society. The death penalty should not be reinstated in this state, and an amoral, shameful bill like SSB 1004 should never make its way to a subcommittee in the Iowa legislature ever again.
01-14-2021
Jim Schreitmueller []
Please do not move forward with reintroducing the death penalty in Iowa. I don't believe that the state should be able to make decisions on who lives and who dies in a punitive manner. It's an outdated way of thinking and not to mention the risks and tragedies involved in putting someone innocent to death.While I empathize with the families of victims and often wonder where my personal feelings would fall on the issue if I were in their shoes, as a greater society we must not allow the death penalty to return to Iowa. These punishments do not enrich us or nourish us as a whole, but instead cater to our baser instincts which we should try not to indulge.
01-14-2021
Anna Kucera []
I would like to reiterate and draw attention to the points already in many comments, particularly those which were made on behalf of the ACLU of Iowa. There is no doubt that the crimes listed, which this bill is meant to address, are some of the most heinous imaginable. However, the death penalty is not the solution; both because it is not an effective deterrent, and because of flaws and potential mistakes in sentencing. Please oppose this bill.
01-14-2021
Michael Hockemeyer []
The death penalty is costly, ineffective at deterring crime, and a moral hazard to every person involved in the process. I dont want my government to be killing humans, especially not humans who are already incarcerated and thus not a threat to citizens. I would much prefer to lock up murderous criminals for life, which is a worse punishment than death.When an innocent man is put to death, there is no recourse. Despite the onerous and expensive legal process that precedes an execution, we know innocent persons are convicted of capital crimes, and the death sentence ensures that the State will eventually become an agent of murder itself if we continue killing prisoners.
01-14-2021
Sommer Darland []
Please do not pass this. Putting people to death is wrong, even people who commit awful crimes. And the risk of putting an innocent person to death will never be zero. Iowans don't want capital punishment. Please don't pass this.
01-14-2021
Chris Bice []
The death penalty is inhuman and degrading. Worst of all, it is applied in a racist manner. Iowa is better than this and not what the people want. Please do not reinstate it in Iowa.
01-14-2021
Nancy Graves []
Please vote NO on SSB1004. The death penalty does not discourage crime, and usually only punishes the poor or those with mental disease. Also how many people have we seen released in recent years when DNA determined innocence? Our legal system is not 100 full proof and innocent people could be murdered by the state. It is wrong.
01-14-2021
kathryn Hollingsworth []
As an Iowan, I stand against the death penalty. At this time, is this what you should be focused on? People are hurting, there is a pandemic. This is not pro life.
01-14-2021
Emily Steward []
I am opposed to the death penalty. This is not the next step Iowa should be taking.
01-14-2021
Robin Kline []
As an Iowan, I am proud that Iowa has outlawed this vicious, cruel and unnecessary possibility since 1965. I oppose the death penalty; and am aghast at the speed the Iowa House wants to rush to reinstitute this abhorrent possibility. The death penalty is unfair, unnecessary, ineffective, costly and morally wrong. Innocent people have been sent to their deaths at the expense and hands of the state. Research shows that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime, does not promote public safety and is disproportionately used upon Black prisoners. No government should kill a human being as punishment or retribution. Do not return Iowa to this immoral possibility.
01-14-2021
Lydia Holm []
I strongly urge you to not move this bill to full committee. The death penalty is wrong. More than 170 people have been exonerated and released from death row, despite the Supreme Court saying factual innocence isnt grounds to overturn a verdict. If the death penalty comes back here you will be responsible for killing an innocent person. You cant guarantee infallibility at all levels. Please reconsider and start working on bills to help Iowans in this unprecedented time of need.
01-14-2021
Matè Muhammad [Des Moines BLM]
The death penalty has historically proven 1) To be disproportionately applied to Black Americans 2)Be extremely costly and 3) cause numerous problems for American society such as false witnesses and evidence being accepted in death row cases, failed executions and lengthy public forgiveness campaigns. The people of Iowa will fight this bill. Save us the trouble and stop the fight before it begins.
01-14-2021
Patricia Joelson []
Please oppose the death penalty bill. As you weigh pros and cons, the cons definitely win. Its costly, ineffective, does not deter crime and it is wrong. Taking anothers life is wrong. If you profess to be prolife, how can you ever consider this? This bill needs to die, not Iowans.
01-14-2021
Adam Witosky []
Vote down this bill. Let it fail in subcommittee. Show the country Iowans are better than this. The death penalty accomplishes nothing of value. It does not prevent crime. It does not reduce costs or expenses to the State or local governments. It serves no purpose other than to take the life of another human being. Oppose the bill. Vote no.
01-14-2021
Maria Snyder []
I urge legislators to oppose SSB 1004. There is no need for the use of the death penalty in Iowa. It will not make us safer and will not make the state a better place to live. Instead, it will impose a costly new system on taxpayers, delay justice for victims, and mete out unequal penalties to criminals. It will mark our state as a place where pointless political "tough on crime" gestures have overtaken the pursuit of sound policy.
01-14-2021
James Uhlenkamp []
Please vote against SSB 104, which would reinstate the death penalty in the state of Iowa. The death penalty is frequently levied unevenly and unjustly, and once executed, is beyond justice. The death penalty does not deter crime. It is statesponsored vengeance. Vengeance is the Lords to seek, not mans. We are called to mercy and love even for our enemies. Please do the right and just thing. Vote against SSB 1004 today.
01-14-2021
Deacon Dan Rigel []
I do not believe in the death penalty, it is wrong and should never happen. Those that promote it or do it are as guilty of murder as anyone else in prison for murder and will answer for it on judgement day if your hearts dont change. To even think of doing this is evil and Satan is whispering in your ear that this is a good thing to do. May God help those who are part of this.Deacon Dan
01-14-2021
Erin Claeys []
I am so disappointed that my wonderful home state of Iowa is considering reinstating the death penalty. Aside from any moral or religious beliefs I may have about this issue, the death penalty is a costly and punitive punishment. Even with our excellent judicial system and robust appeals process, there is a small chance that the state would execute an innocent person which is too great of a tragedy to bear. I hope this committee rejects this archaic bill and focuses their efforts on much more pressing matters like Covid relief.
01-14-2021
Melissa Brus []
Research shows capital punishment is not a deterrent to murder. The murder rate in death penalty states has been consistently higher than in nondeathpenalty states.Several studies have shown that that Black defendants are disproportionately more likely to receive a death sentence, particularly when the victims were white.Executions do not save money, in fact they cost more than life in prison without parole.The risk of wrongful execution is real. Since 1973, 174 people on death row have been exonerated.
01-14-2021
Mariah Himes []
Please do not reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. It has been shown time and again to be ineffective in preventing crime. It is unjust and research shows Black men are much more likely to receive the death penalty than white men for similar crimes. It is racist, expensive, and barbaric.
01-14-2021
Lauri Okun []
I oppose reinstating the death penalty as there is overwhelming evidence that it is racially biased, has caused the death of those wrongly convicted, does not deter other criminals, and is an unnecessary expense to the taxpayers.
01-14-2021
Wayne Judkins []
We do not need executions in Iowa. What we need is to address root causes of crime with open eyes as to the inequities present in all of our systems. The death penalty is nothing more than barbarism. Its not a deterrent and its expensive to mete out as well.
01-14-2021
Cathy Failor []
How does the pro.life party justify killing more Iowans? This will not be a deterrent just like according to republicans, tougher gun laws are not a deterrent. This is a costly proposal when Iowans need COVID relief. How w tone deaf of you for this to be one of the first things you think needs to be done in this session
01-14-2021
Kristen Anderson []
The death penalty is immoral and tends to be applied discriminatorily. Please do not move forward with this bill.
01-14-2021
Andrew Grutzmacher []
This measure is abhorrent. The death penalty does not belong and is a miscarriage of justice. DO NOT introduce this bill. Leave the dead and buried as it deserves.
01-14-2021
Chelsea Lepley []
I have been proud that Iowa does not have the death penalty. It is a flawed punishment in a very flawed system do not bring it back.
01-14-2021
Cherri Lock []
The state should not be in the business of killing people. The death penalty is not a deterrent, it is more costly than life in prison, and it has the risk of killing an innocent person. Many people on death row have been exonerated. If those people had been put to death it would have been murder by the government. We must not let that happen in Iowa!
01-14-2021
Erin Boote []
This bill is ineffective as a deterrent, budget inefficient, unequally applied, cruel, irrecoverable in case of error and superseded by so many more pressing issues. Please see that it ends in subcommittee and use our time to help the people living through a historic crisis right now instead. Thank you.
01-14-2021
Patricia Shipley []
I oppose reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa.. Reinstating the death penalty is taking this state in the wrong direction. Too many individuals incarcerated are individuals of color. Reinstatement of the death penalty will further increase the racial divide. I urge you to oppose moving this Senate Study Bill forward. The Iowa legislators should focus on other matters instead of bringing forward this divisive issue.
01-14-2021
Elizabeth Wearin []
The prolife crowd should also be proud that Iowa does not have a death penalty!
01-14-2021
Barb Nelson []
I ask you to oppose reinstatement is the death penalty. It is not a deterrent to crime. Death is irreversible and can not be remedied should there later be found the victim was innocent. Bottom line, it is morally wrong to take a life.
01-14-2021
Danielle Pettit-Majewski []
Please oppose this bill. There is nothing to be gained by State executions. Additionally, until we have equal justice under the law, this will further risk Black and Brown Iowans being unfairly sentenced to death. If life matters to you, then please oppose this bill.
01-14-2021
Sandy Krell-Andre [The Homestead 1839]
Please do not support SSB 1004. Research has shown that states with the death penalty have a higher rate of murders than those without. We are the only developed Western democracy with the death penalty but we have far, far higher rates of murder than those other nations.It is not a deterrent. All the death penalty proves is that, if the offense is heinous enough, it's okay to kill.Also, as someone else mentioned, a life sentence in Iowa is always life without parole. Then, if the person is later shown to be innocent, s/he can be released. We have murdered people via the death penalty, only to be shown later that the person was innocent.Why do we kill people to show people that killing is wrong?
01-14-2021
Giada Morresi []
Absolutely not. Vote no. Abolish the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Miranda Hays []
I am not in support of reinstating the death penalty. Please do not pass this.
01-14-2021
June Lewinmeister []
The death penalty is immoral as it is ineffective as a deterrent. This would be a step backward fkr the state.
01-14-2021
Kellie Murtle []
Please dont allow the death penalty. It is immoral and irreversible.
01-14-2021
Sylvia Glaser []
The death penalty is costly and in humane. It costs more to put someone to death than to incarcerate them for life. I believe in a system that works toward rehabilitation and the betterment of our communitiesnot a system based on prejudice and punishment. We can do better. We need to be better. Iowa Nice
01-14-2021
Kathleen Claussen []
Please vote against reinstating the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Jamie Stokka []
Please vote NO on this bill. The death penalty is unconscionable. While these crimes are horrific, there are alternative measures both of rehabilitative and punitive variety that remain effective without taking human life.
01-14-2021
Trinity Heeren []
I do not support the death penalty. Its immoral, expensive, and does not deter individuals from committing crimes. It is also likely more black individuals would end up receiving the death penalty over white individuals and therefore can be a racially biased sentence. Iowa is better than this. Do not reinstate the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Kellie Nath []
Please Oppose this bill that would allow the state to execute prisoners. It is inhumane and unconscionable to purposely take a life. Prison is punishment.
01-14-2021
Ashley Nelson []
I would just like to point out that this is not very pro life of you. The death penalty is disgusting and should be abolished in every state. The way Iowa convicts, youll be killing many innocent people. The racism in Iowa is loud and disgusting so the biggest percentage you will be putting to death will be minorities who probably didnt get proper respresentation and/or a fair trial. Vote NO to the death penalty!
01-14-2021
Sara Clemenson []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty should not be brought back. If taking a life is a crime then the state should not be able to execute anyone.
01-14-2021
Jessica Kreho []
Please reject this bill and vote no. The death penalty is immoral and the data shows that it does not keep us safer.
01-14-2021
Kenzie Wyatt []
I urge you to oppose this barbaric and horrific action. Time and time again, we have seen those placed on death row and executed, only to see evidence come forward in their favor that exonerates them of their charges. This is not the answer. Please, instead, invest in rehabilitation measures and education resources for those imprisoned.
01-14-2021
Jessica Kincaid []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004. The death penalty is inhumane and disproportionately is used on the most vulnerable folks in our communities. The death penalty is a dismissing use of power and does nothing to prevent crime and keep communities safe.
01-14-2021
Jess Kreho []
Capital punishment is costly, ineffective, immoral and racist.
01-14-2021
Lily Smith []
Please oppose this bill. Our efforts and funding should be spent on reabilitation as well as reentry programs for formally incarcerated folks. State sanctioned murder is still murder.
01-14-2021
Sara Carmichael []
Please vote no on this bill. The death penalty is immoral and costs more money that life without parole. We should be focusing our time, money, and other resources on preventing crime by investing in food insecurity, living wages, job development and eduction, and overall family health! Please dont bring this to Iowa!!
01-14-2021
Kyla Land []
Capital punishment is expensive, immoral, and ultimately useless. It is an ineffective crime prevention method and there is too much room for bias and error in our justice system.
01-14-2021
Kathy Green []
I am writing to express concern over consideration of enacting the death penalty in Iowa. The issue is simpleit is not our place to take a life except in self defense. No matter the crime, the death penalty is wrong, it is murder.
01-14-2021
Elizabeth Bullock []
Please oppose this bill. We are not the judgment of who dies. Reading these other comments shows that Iowans do not want the death penalty. Please choose the way that Iowans want and oppose this bill.
01-14-2021
Denise Stadter []
Please vote no on this bill. The death penalty is costly, ineffective, and inhumane.
01-14-2021
Tristan Schmidt []
Please oppose this. The death penalty has historically been applied to historically marginalized communities and on a number of folks who were inappropriately sentenced or were convicted of crimes they did not commit. There is a strong and malicious history of assigning harsher punishments like the death penalty to people of color, specifically, Black individuals. This Bill would be a step backwards in terms of judicial equity. Crimes like those mentioned in the bill are heinous and offensive. The pain to see justice is valid, but the decision made by a governmental power that more than likely will and has never represented you to take your life (the life of those disproportionately affected by systemic inequities) is disgusting and an antithesis to the idea of the justice system.
01-14-2021
Madison Bruck []
This bill cannot proceed. Murder is murder, and that includes capital punishment. Please help put an end to the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Tyler Farber []
I echo the many statements provided here against the death penalty for its ineffectiveness as a deterrent, its high cost, and its denial of recourse despite the fallibility of the justice system. The Iowa legislature should focus on bettering the lives of Iowans.
01-14-2021
Jessica Dagel []
As a born again Christian, I am opposed to the death penalty. All humans are the breath of God and deserve forgiveness. There is nothing we can do to be separated from the love of Godnothing. As such, the government has no right to take the life of it's citizens. It has also been shown to be used more frequently with minorities, which is also unethical and unchristian. We do not need this in Iowa!
01-14-2021
Tyler Tweeten []
Please vote no on SSB 1004. If you value life before birth, it must also stand that life should be valued after birth as well. Capital punishment is incredibly archaic and immoral. Justice can be served in many ways, but taking a life for a life is a primitive way to do so. Please. Vote no.
01-14-2021
Audrey Keith []
Please vote no. Murder can't be illegal for constituents and yet legally allowed for the state. Set a good example of you wish to prevent such injustices.
01-14-2021
Jayme Wiebold [Please Select]
I do not support the death penalty. Please do not support this bill or move it forward.
01-14-2021
Vincent Whitaker []
No form of harm, however terrible, can override the sanctity of a human life. I am ashamed and horrified to see our legislature considering a return to the blight of statesanctioned murder. Please do not pass this bill!
01-14-2021
Mason Stumberg []
Capital punishment is a costly, ineffective, risky method of trying to enforce law. There are many documented instances of people who had been on death row but were vindicated. The threat of capital punishment doesnt deter criminals. The costs of creating a system for capital punishment would be better used providing preventative measures and treatment for survivors.
01-14-2021
Lisa Earles []
I am shocked and appalled that we're trying to reinstate the death penalty. Most countries in the world have long since abolished the death penalty. Iowa should be embarrassed to look at the list of nations who still have the death penalty and see the company we'd keep. China. Iran. Saudi Arabia. Vietnam. Iraq. Egypt. These are the nations who execute more people than the US. Not exactly the company we want to keep.I am also surprised the Republicans are eager to spend more taxpayer money to execute people than the cost of life imprisonment. The death penalty isn't fiscally responsible.I would go into how barbaric, inhumane, cruel, and immoral it is but I think those arguments would fall on deaf ears with today's Republican party. I would also mention that reinstating the death penalty now would put us on the wrong side of history, but again, that argument falls on deaf ears with today's Republican Party. I am appalled and disgusted we're even having this discussion in 2021.
01-14-2021
Abby Meysenburg []
I do not see the death penalty as a way to deter crimes. It is a punishment that keeps the convicted criminals name in the news. It is a punishment that can never be taken back. If one wrongly convicted person gets put to death, that is one too many.
01-14-2021
Libby Nizzi []
Bringing the death penalty to Iowa would be a step back for our state. It is proven to be costly, barbaric, and is not a deterrent in crime.
01-14-2021
Deborah McClure []
Capitol punishment does nothing to deter crime. I am strongly opposed to this. All this would achieve is costing the Iowa tax payers more money and taking the state backwards.
01-14-2021
Andy Hughes []
The death penalty is archaic, immoral and evil. It should not be brought back.
01-14-2021
Kevin O'Brien []
Please, as an Iowan, I know we are better than this. Do not put blood on our hands. The death penalty and this bill are inappropriate and medieval, and I urge the bill to be withdrawn. We can hold people accountable for their actions without becoming criminals ourselves.
01-14-2021
Amanda Glaser []
Capital punishment is a costly, ineffective, risky method of trying to enforce law. It is also a violation of Christian beliefs and morals. I am vehemently opposed.
01-14-2021
Matthew Yoder []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty is cruel, expensive and ineffective.
01-14-2021
Elizabeth Jorgensen []
Please oppose this bill. Even if the courts never convicted an innocent person, it is still not necessary to execute people to keep the rest of us safe. Capital punishment is cruel and immoral.
01-14-2021
Alyssa Plano [University of Iowa ]
Please vote NO. This is not the Iowa we want. Our communities should not be responsible for the death of someone else. The death penalty is cruel and unusual and should not exist.
01-14-2021
David Michael []
Please reconsider this legislation. We as Iowan's have the resources to imprison people convicted of crimes for the rest of their lives if required. The death penalty is an outdated penalty and there have been cases where people have been wrongly executed. To take someone's life is the ultimate removal of their liberties and I find it reprehensible.There are currently other, more important tasks and legislation that the Iowa government should be focused on.Thanks
01-14-2021
Lesley Payne []
I do not support reinstatement of the death penalty. Funds would be better spent on mental health, diversion and reentry programs.
01-14-2021
Misty Rebik [Iowa CCI]
Dear Committee members,I write to implore you to oppose this SSB 1004 which would regress Iowa's commitment to justice by bringing back the archaic sentiment "an eye for an eye". Capital punishment does not bring justice to the victims of violence, abuse, and harm. Rather, using murder to deal with cases of murder and violence only create a viscous cycle of more trauma, pain, and shame to survivors. There are other ways to deal with people who harm people, this is not the way. Please think of all of the errors in our criminal justice system, you know that it is a flawed system, and introducing a lethal weapon into a flawed system is extremely dangerous to society. We do not need to introduce more violence and murder into the world. We need to introduce harm reduction therapies, and invest in communities who have faced systemic poverty and trauma. Please don't stain our state with this horrendous bill. Now is the time to have compassion and learn to move forward after violence, not regress. we are better than this, and I know you believe in doing what is best for Iowans, please do the right thing. Most sincerely,Misty Rebik
01-14-2021
Cameron Chiste []
The death penalty is immoral and has no place in our society. We must remember why we got rid of the death penalty in the first place.
01-14-2021
Jessica Gulseth []
I do not support reinstating the death penalty regardless of the crime committed. Do not pass this bill.
01-14-2021
Marcus Hall []
Waste of tax payers money. The Pro Life party should not be killing more Iowans than you already have. Fuck you Brad Zaun. Eat my ass.
01-14-2021
Catlin Curry []
I am opposed to the Iowa senate passing bill SSB 1004. Our state is in the midst of dealing with a global pandemic and we need our elected officials to be focused on helping Iowans recover. The death penalty is archaic and studys show it is not a deterrent to violent crime, and often is disproportionately used against people of color since our judicial system has imbedded bias and racism.
01-14-2021
Andrew Kelley []
I write in opposition of this bill. It has been proven time and time again that capital punishment is not only more costly than a life sentence, but also extremely error prone and not a deterrent. The death penalty has a long history of being applied unfairly, disproportionately targeting low income and minorities.In summation, capital punishment is a miscarriage of justice, a waste of tax payer dollars, and antithetical to Iowan values.Thank you,Andrew Kelley
01-14-2021
Katy Merriman []
Please oppose this bill. This is not the path to reform in our justice system. It is cruel and inhumane, and we are capable of finding a better solution. This is a step backwards, particularly in terms of equity and justice in our state.
01-14-2021
Madilyn Brace []
The death penalty is immoral, archaic, and quite simply, wrong. SSB 1004 also shows the hypocrisy of a pro life state. Rather than SSB 1004, we should be increasing funding for mental health services to intervene before someone commits a crime that would allow for a death penalties debate.
01-14-2021
Kevin Duggan []
How barbaric! We outlawed this some time ago because it is costly & inhumane. We do not have the right to take someone's life.....period. For a group that has been so adamant about abortion where is your care for life now? IF you claim to be prolife, now is the time to stand up and be counted. Do not even offer this bill to be considered.
01-14-2021
Chelsea Sims []
Vote NO on reinstating the death penalty. Not only is ineffective and costly, the timing of taking up this bill is disgusting. End this antilife bill now and save lives from the pandemic.
01-14-2021
James Grimm []
Murdering people to show other people that murdering people is wrong, is the most asinine concept I ever heard of. The Death Penalty is stupid and so is anyone who supports it.
01-14-2021
John Tyson []
People of faith and conscience have long stood against the death penalty as an unethical and barbaric practice. It does not deter crime; it increases the burden on taxpayers. It is not a priority for Iowans. This is why Iowa abolished the death penalty in 1965. Why would we want to go back to this? Vote NO!
01-14-2021
Kathleen Beebout [Iowa citizen]
This death penalty bill is an immoral, unnecessary and costly use of legislative and taxpayer resources. Iowa has life in prison for these offenses. The death penalty is not a deterrent but an evil act of retribution. I am opposed. Please get to work addressing Iowas real problems related to the pandemics health and economic toll on Iowans, and the natural disaster relief that is still needed due to last years derecho.
01-14-2021
Kallen Anderson []
The State of Iowa already has a type of death penalty life in prison without parole. I oppose this bill.
01-14-2021
Helena Anderson []
Under the eighth amendment of the US capital pushinment is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Many innocent people die because of being put on death row, one innocent life should be enough reason. Another is the insane cost to have prisoners on death row. There is no reason that Im 2021 Iowa needs to be a state with death penalty, everyone already looks down on us because of our COVID response and now.
01-14-2021
Michelle Berends []
I do not support the reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa.
01-14-2021
Kirk Johnson []
If we hadn't been paying attention to the Iowa's republican leaders' actions over these last few years, we could label this as simple bit of cruel insanity. Sadly, I think no one is overly surprised by this type of foul and evil move. Shame on all wanting to pass this.I would hope that not only does this fail, but that each member who supports this could be censured or forced to resign. The GOP is twisted beyond any recognition of any political party that belongs in this world.The overarching issues of the death penalty itself inhumane.Why even attempt this now in the midst of this pandemic of which, this administrations inactions, bumbling, and further partisan bias has enabled Covid to take 4232 (as of am of Jan 14) lives that otherwise would have been preventable... the cruelty in this legislation is beyond the pale.Spend time on... perhaps? help folks with healthcare, housing, sustenance, etc.. help people live. Shame on anyone who supports this.
01-14-2021
Alicia Ambler []
I strongly oppose this bill. Capitol punishment is immoral, ineffective, and has no place in a developed society. It would come at too great of a cost to our state, financially and morally.
01-14-2021
A.J. Salinas []
Abolish the death penalty! It has no place in a just society. With a justice system that disproportionately convicts and sentences black Americans at a higher rate and to harsher penalties, the death penalty has disproportionately killed black Americans. Nathaniel Woods and Brandon Bernard come to mind. They lacked quality representation, and had evidence and statements withheld. Is that what we think justice is? Controversial killings for men who were not giving a fair trial or for actions committed as a teenager?!?! Until America values the life of black Americans and people of color, we will continue to fail as a country.
01-14-2021
Andrew Deubner []
I oppose the reestablishment of the death penalty in Iowa, and argue that Iowa state representatives do the same. It is a waste of taxpayer funds, has no public safety benefit, and does not deter crime.
01-14-2021
Rachel Maller []
I strongly oppose reinstating the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Elisabeth Norwood []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004. As heinous as these crimes are, the death penalty is more expensive to the state than life in prison, it does not deter crimes, and there is no redress when a person later found innocent has been killed by the state.
01-14-2021
Lisa Bell []
As a citizen of Iowa, I strongly oppose the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Amy Luebbert []
Please oppose SSB 1004. The death penalty is not a deterrent, it is irreversible, and our criminal justice system is rooted in racism. The state should be focusing on supporting communities to prevent crimes (living wages, housing, childcare, mental health providers, properly funded schools, etc) rather than this antiquated form of punishment. Please do spend more taxpayer time on this. If you dont care about the people who would be executed by the state, perhaps you care about the people who would have to administer the lethal injections. Heres one such persons recount. Allen Ault, former executioner for the State of Georgia, wrote, The men and women who assist in executions are not psychopaths or sadists. They do their best to perform the impossible and inhumane job with which the state has charged them. Those of us who have participated in executions often suffer something very much like posttraumatic stress. Many turn to alcohol and drugs. For me, those nights that werent sleepless were plagued by nightmares.Iowa made the right decision in 1965 to not have the death penalty. Lets keep it that way.
01-14-2021
Nancy Gebhart []
The state shouldn't kill people. Full stop.
01-14-2021
Stacy Schmidt []
Capital punishment is abhorrent. Not only is it more expensive, primarily due to the extensive legal fights involved in capital cases, but research also shows that it is not a sufficient deterrent to crime. Additionally, research has shown that methods used to execute prisoners are fraught with glitches or malfunctions that create an environment wherein the punishment becomes cruel and unusual a violation of the 8th amendment to the US Constitution. There is also a substantial body of work showing that the death penalty has been administered to people who were innocent of the crimes of which they were convicted. The possibility of executing even one innocent person should make anyone pause at wanting to bring back such problematic ways of dealing with prisoners.Rather than reverting to an expensive, ineffective, inefficient method of dealing with these prisoners, more money and effort needs to be made to ensure that our prison systems become more effective in rehabilitating and resocializing prisoners. Do not reinstate the death penalty in Iowa.
01-14-2021
Nicole McAlexander []
As a lifelong citizen of Iowa I am vehemently opposed to any consideration of reinstating the death penalty in our state. It is expensive, does not serve as a deterrent, and should not be part of any civilized society. It will also disproportionally impact people of color due to the structural inequities of our justice system. Please do not advance this bill.
01-14-2021
Nancy Smith []
The Death penalty is not only more expensive than housing someone for the rest of their lives, it is inhuman. If someone takes ones life does that give us the right to do the same? NO There have been many individuals that have received a life sentence or death penalty and done some fantastic things to change and influence others lives. The death penalty is a waste of resources. There is no facts that support this prevents others from committing the same act of violence.I am totally against it. Nancy
01-14-2021
Laura Greving-Witosky []
The death penalty will cost the state of Iowa more money than it is worth. More and more states are dropping the death penalty as they find it is cost ineffective. This is even more true as the drugs used to induce the death penalty are both hard to get. The ones that can be received are in litigation for being cruel and unusual.
01-14-2021
Bridget Pedersen []
I strongly oppose the passage of this bill. Capital punishment is cruel and unusual punishment. Capital punishment denies due process of law. Capital punishment violates the Constitutional guarantee of equal protection. Additionally the death penalty is not a viable form of crime control and wastes limited resources. The death penalty is barbaric and we are better than this.
01-14-2021
Frieda Bequeaith []
Vote NO. The death penalty disproportionately impacts poor people and Black people. It violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment. The state should not be allowed to murder. This is horrifying. Vote no.
01-14-2021
Nicole Rains []
Execution is not a permissable sentence in response to a crime. The state has enough blood on its' hands and can't even keep its' officers in line nor it's Civil Rights board civil (not just a liability reducing group). There is absolutely no way the existence of another human being should be in the hands of the easily corrupted lawmakers and fallible judges and juries. I don't know that the people of Iowa should be given the right to choose whether someone lives or dies, considering we get fired up about inane things like Busch Light and the Hawkeyes and the Register. Life is not a partisan issue. Do not make us an even more backwards state. We do not need this and no one wants it.
01-14-2021
Sarah Reittinger []
I oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty. It is immoral, unethical, and barbaric.
01-14-2021
Julie Voigts []
Please vote No on SSB 1004. The death penalty is unconscionable.
01-14-2021
Christina Rhodes []
Please vote no on this bill allowing the death penalty in Iowa. The death penalty is not an effective deterrent of crime. It causes unnecessary trauma to the workers forced to carry out the murder. It is not cost effective nor humane. Taking a life is never just. It is vengeance. Again, I strongly urge my fellow Iowans to vote no and keep the death penalty out of our state.
01-14-2021
Mary Cohen []
Please vote against this bill. The death penalty is never the answer. Under what circumstances is it moral for a group to do that which is not moral for a member of that group to do alone? Robert A Heinlein
01-14-2021
Jayne Meacham []
Please do not bring back the death penalty in Iowa, it is morally reprehensible.
01-14-2021
Lisa Griffore []
I do not support this bill or anyone who authored or supports it. Those who did write this bill and those who support it, should also be considered murderers and therefore eligible for the death penalty they have created. I cannot believe this is the first order of business in this new year. It has been proven to be ineffective, costly and racist. I have not heard a single reason to bring this death penalty back. What is the purpose of this? The justice system is flawed. Humans are flawed. Even mistakenly killing one innocent person is too many. Can you sleep at night having that death on your hands? Can you sleep at night if the innocent person is a white mother or will you only sleep soundly if they are a black man? Lets work on creating a more fair justice system instead of focusing on killing more people.
01-14-2021
Elizabeth Eason []
The death penalty is indefensible financially & morally. I cannot believe this is even being suggested, especially at the same time Republicans are pushing for an abortion ban. How dare you police womens bodies at the mere possibility of life and then be so callous with definitive human lives. Shame on anyone who stands with this proposal.
01-14-2021
Susanne Kennedy []
Please vote no on reinstating the death penalty. The death penalty does not detwr crime and is also very costly. We know from experience that it's doesn't work, that is used in discrimatory manner and that innocent people have been executed and this is never acceptable.pleae do not reinstate this horrible punishment, it's barbaric.
01-14-2021
Natalia Blaskovich []
This is a disgusting proposal that is absolutely against any prolife principles. Iowa already has a problem with systemic racism in our criminal justice system. Address THAT! Invest in human services! Invest in education! This is no solution to anything and is hateful.
01-14-2021
Brad Dell []
Capital Punishment is costly, ineffective, immoral, and grossly unjust as it targets Black, Indigenous, and People of Color far more than Whites. Please do not enact this unnecessary legislation.
01-14-2021
Olivia Samples []
We should not reinstate the death penality in Iowa. The practice is ineffective, cruel, and serves no justice to victims of crime. The State of Iowa should have no right to kill people.
01-14-2021
Mark Cooper [South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO]
The death penalty is archaic, period, no matter what the offense. This bill, SSB 1004 reminded me of my childhood bible study classes and when I first heard the bible verse of John 8.7: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. Please vote no on this Senate Study Bill 1004. Thank you for your attention and please focus your attention a little more on the New Testament instead of the Old Testament that instead professed an eye for an eye. Because focusing on an eyeforeye and toothfortooth would lead to a world of the blind and toothless.
01-14-2021
Gail Bonath []
Please do not reinstate the death penalty. It is a cruel punishment and mistakes that are made cannot be undone. The cost of the death penalty is huge compared to the cost of life imprisonment $1.12 million more according to a 2016 study.
01-14-2021
Paula Copeland []
Please do not reinstate a barbaric, expensive, deathloving practice as statesponsored murder. The practice defiles human dignity, and far too often innocent people are exonerated while on death row. How can we be certain for some innocent people it was too late? The state should not have this kind of power.
01-14-2021
Megan McAfee []
The death penalty is inhumane and cruel and I am completely against this bill."The question about the death penalty in America is not whether people deserve to die for crimes they commit. The real question is 'Do we deserve to kill?' Bryan Stevenson
01-14-2021
Corey Walker []
The legal system is not perfect and if you have a death penalty you have to understand that innocent people will be killed by the state. It has happened hundreds of times over the years when DNA evidence later proved someone was actually innocent. This along with many other reasons is why so many states have suspended enforcing their death penalties.
01-14-2021
Carrie Gosnell []
Please vote NO to SSB 1004!As a lifelong Iowan and Christian, I have always be thankful that we do not have the death penalty in our state. Too many times, innocent people are put in death row. Regardless, it is taking another life, which is immoral and reprehensible. As a victim of child sexual assault myself, I would never wish the death penalty on my abuser. There are so many other options for discipline than death. Also, death of my abuser wouldnt necessarily do anything more than life in prison would. I would rather that we focus our attention on preventing crimes and rehabilitation.
01-14-2021
Sarah Schmitz []
Please vote no. Invest in Human Services and do not vote in favor of the death penalty. The death penalty is most often used against the most vulnerable in society.
01-14-2021
Elizabeth Norris []
I oppose the death penalty and I urge you to oppose it as well. The death penalty does nothing to deter violent crime. Instead, it leads to expensive appeals. In addition, it violates the core beliefs that all life is precious and each person is redeemable.
01-14-2021
Aaron Wheelock []
There is no evidence to support the death penalty being a deterrent and it will cost the state more money in the long run due to appeals. The single most powerful argument against it however is that we can never be sure, the risk of one innocent person being executed is far too great. Its happened before and will happen again.
01-14-2021
Monique Shore []
I urge opposition to this bill and any act that would implement the death penalty. The death penalty is applied in an unfair and unjust manner against people, largely dependent on how much money they have, the skill of their attorneys, race of the victim and where the crime took place. Criminal justice reform is greatly needed, but this is not the right direction.
01-14-2021
Jeremy Merrill []
The death penalty is an ugly an unnecessary penalty. Studies have shown that it serves no deterrent purpose and it leaves no recourse for defendants' who have been wrongly accused and convicted. It in no way reflects the civic values that we as Iowans embrace. Please reject this.
01-14-2021
Nannette Gunn []
The death penalty is murder. It is not for us to murder people to right a wrong. If they are dangerous, make sure they can never be paroled and they are in maximum security.
01-14-2021
Conrad Meis []
Imperfect government should refrain from such ultimate and irreversible punishment. And practically, the taxpayers cannot afford it.
01-14-2021
Brieana Fortner []
Please vote no to SSB 1004. The death penalty is wrong. The history of it is intertwined with slavery & racism. There is no humane way to execute someone & experts say they feel as though they are burning alive before they pass. Not to mention that it is all too common for innocent people, specifically Black People, to be put to death. Since 1973, 156 PEOPLE have been released from death row bc they were, in fact, Innocent. Vote "NO" SSB 1004.
01-14-2021
Robert Sessions [New Song Episcopal, Iowa City]
I strongly oppose this bill. We have been an exemplary state since the 1960s when Iowa abolished capital punishment. This bill would be a terribly regressive move at a time when we clearly need to become more humane in our criminal justice system. What we're doing now is terribly costly, socially regressive, and ineffective at transforming criminals. To go back to the death penalty would be a giant step backwards. Please don't!
01-14-2021
Andrew Wick []
The reinstatement of the death penalty will only send us further from a fair and balanced justice system. What do we do if we get a case wrong and we have killed an innocent person. At least if someone is wrongly imprisoned we can let them go. There would have to be 100% certainly that the crime was committed by that person before we commit to that level of punishment which is impossible as we can never know everything.
01-14-2021
Helen Trisko []
Vote no on SSB 1004. The death penalty is unconscionable, violent, and is not beneficial for any Iowan. This form of punishment will disproportionately affect Black and brown Iowans, and leave lives up to the will of an unjust justice system. Vote no if you care about human life.
01-14-2021
Madalyn Grask []
I strongly oppose this bill as the death penalty is cruel and inhumane. Taking the life of an individual, no matter what mistakes they have made, is never the right response. I believe in the honorable senators in this subcommittee to do the right and morale thing and continue to prohibit the use of the death penalty in our great state.
01-14-2021
John Bisenius []
Please note no SB1004 this is not what iowa is about; if you actually want to work on the problem, fund mental health and services to intervene before individuals carry out acts motivated in anger and hate. That is rehabilitation; not the death penalty threat/Bill.
01-14-2021
Ashley Muff []
I am opposed to capital punishment. There is a wealth of wisdom on the moral and fiscal arguments against it available to anyone who cares to learn see the ACLU statement). Rather than repeating those things here I will simply record my voice as a constituent asking that this measure not be passed.
01-14-2021
Joshua Reicks [Schoenthaler, Bartelt, Kahler & Reicks]
Studies of many cases in many different states over the past 2030 years has conclusively established that justice can and often is marred by prosecutorial mistake and bias. Given the number of innocent people who have been convicted and some wrongfully executed, Iowans would be better served if efforts were concentrated on making justice truly equal for all parties, regardless of race or wealth. It's been proven the death penalty is not effective deterrence, so there is no good reason to bring it back considering the risk of executing the innocent.
01-14-2021
Brian Walker [National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter]
National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter is opposed to SSB1004, a death penalty bill. The death penalty is a deliberate act of execution that is a violation of a humans right to life. In addition, we as a country know that the criminal justice system has sent innocent individuals to death row, it unjustly penalizes individuals who cannot afford proper legal representation, as well as penalizes the individuals who developmentally are unable to comprehend the implications of their behavior.
01-14-2021
Olivia Schneider []
First and foremost, the death penalty is a horrifying punishment I would never wish on anyone. The death penalty has come under much scrutiny in recent times especially after the nationwide movement to stop the federal execution of Brandon Bernard. This comes after tensions exploding after the Black Lives Matter protests in July. Of course, since the entire prison system disproportionately affects black and brown people, so does the death penalty. Those given capital punishment are sometimes completely innocent of the crimes with which they are accused. This alone should make you stop in your tracks. These false convictions are quite high in number and call into question the United States stance on the death penalty, as they should. A government should never be able to put innocent people to death. It's an absolutely sickening thought. A study by the National Academy of Sciences released a conservative estimate that about 4.1% of people on death row are innocent. Though the number may seem small at first, that is about 105 innocent people out of the 2,553 on death row nationwide as of October 1, 2020. Over 100 innocent people facing death! This fact in and of itself should cause hesitation in whether or not to utilize the death penalty. Many people would argue that the death penalty is still worth the risk, because it is a good deterant for crime and therefore saves lives. This may seem logical because it is assumed that people wouldnt chance commiting crimes if they could potentially be put to death for it. However, this has been shown to be incorrect with evidence from around the world supporting that the death penalty has a sort of brutalizing effect on society. In fact, many crimes are committed spur of the moment, without time to think about possible consequences. Once someone has committed a crime that would earn them capital punishment, they have little motivation to go quietly leading to more violent crime. This leads to the conclusion that not only does the death penalty not deter crime, it encourges more violent crimes and plays into a society built on fear. Many believe that the death penalty is less expensive than keeping someone in prison for life recieveing 3 square meals a day and such. Setting aside the fact that society should not justify the death penalty as a cost saving measure, they would yet again be wrong. Enforcing the death penalty in Califonia has cost the state over $4 billion as of 2011. This is an absurd amount especially considering that California has only executed 13 people between 1976 and 2016. In Florida, enforcing the death penalty costs $51 million each year over what it would cost to punish all firstdegree murderers with life in prison without parole. So if the death penalty is sometimes carried out on the innocent, does nothing to deter crime and costs more than just giving a person life in prison, why do people still support it? For many it is seen as true justice. Many people hold the firm belief that the death penalty is the proper punishment for those who commit the most heinous of crimes. It gives people a sense of justice. And that all sounds good in theory, but at the end of the day you are murdering people and that should not sit right with anyone. The death penalty is much less a reflection of the convict and much more a reflection of our own society. Are we a society that believes in killing people? The death penalty is appealing to some in theory, but in practice it is morally reprehensible and is not true justice. As Gandhi said, An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind. Killing people, no matter who they are or what they have done, is cruel and barbaric. Nothing showcases this cruelty more than the methods which are used in carrying out the death penalty. Since 1976 approximately 3 people have been executed by firing squad, 3 by hanging, 11 by gas chambers, 163 by electric chair, and 1346 by lethal injection. Shockingly, execution by firing squad is possibly the most humane way to enact the death penalty on this list. A bullet to the head would kill someone before their brain could register what happened. Gas chambers might appear to be the worst way to go from this list, the idea of suffocating should make your skin crawl. Or maybe it is the electric chair that turns your stomach. Electricity wracking the body and in some cases setting it on fire. The most unassuming one on this list is the lethal injection. It sounds quick and painless, but of course this is not the case. It usually takes a series of three injections, the first of which is commonly an anesthetic. Next comes a paralytic which keeps the bodys limbs from flailing as they administer the last injection of a drug that causes cardiac arrest. If the inmate is not fully unconscious when the second two injections are administered, they can feel as though they are suffocating from the paralytic while the final drug can feel like fire being injected into their veins. This is of course objectively horrifying and proves once more that there is no ethical way to kill someone. It is high time the United States abolishes the death penalty on a federal level. In the meantime, Iowa should continue its course and not assert the death penalty as a form of punishment in our state.
01-14-2021
Brett Norris []
We should be far beyond capital punishment by now. We have seen time and time again that it does not bring justice the way that it is intended to. It is not only a waste of resources, but a vessel for the state to commit murder.
01-14-2021
Sarah Hutchins []
Please vote NO on this bill. The death penalty is not a deterrent for crimes nor is it humane. It would incurr extremely high costs to defend appeals for the State and taxpayers. Please vote no on this archaic and horrific form of punishment.
01-14-2021
Zoami Calles-Rios Sosa []
I didnt alway oppose the Death Penalty growing up, but I now know better. Please vote NO to reinstating the Death Penalty. I know it seems right to want to kill those who hurt children in terrible ways but that will not stop the hurting. We should spend more time in making sure we stop the hurt before it starts rather than make ourselves feel better by killing the person we deemed responsible. Many innocent people have been killed and there is no excuse for that. That blood will forever be on our hands. The Death Penalty wont do anything to deter the criminals but it does erode our sense of humanity. We have come a long way to remove it, lets not go back.
01-14-2021
Brandon Volz []
Please do not reinstate the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Adam Yack []
Dear Committee members,I write to implore you to oppose this SSB 1004 which would regress Iowa's commitment to justice by bringing back the archaic sentiment "an eye for an eye". Capital punishment does not bring justice to the victims of violence, abuse, and harm. Rather, using murder to deal with cases of murder and violence only create a viscous cycle of more trauma, pain, and shame to survivors. There are other ways to deal with people who harm people, this is not the way. Please think of all of the errors in our criminal justice system, you know that it is a flawed system, and introducing a lethal weapon into a flawed system is extremely dangerous to society. We do not need to introduce more violence and murder into the world. We need to introduce harm reduction therapies, and invest in communities who have faced systemic poverty and trauma. Please don't stain our state with this horrendous bill. Now is the time to have compassion and learn to move forward after violence, not regress. we are better than this, and I know you believe in doing what is best for Iowans, please do the right thing. Most sincerely,Adam Yack
01-14-2021
Stephanie Brennan []
This is ridiculous. Why must some of our elected leaders continue to try to pass bills that keep reversing our state farther and farther back. This bill should NOT pass through the sub committees.
01-14-2021
Dulce Escorcia []
The death penalty will only affect Black and brown Iowans disproportionately, further telling them Iowa is not a safe place for them nor a home for them. This is immoral and as an Iowan I hope to not see the death penalty come back.
01-14-2021
Karen Lauer []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004.The death penalty is not a deterrent to violent crime, is administered unfairly, and most of all, goes against our democratic principles. No society that respects life endorses killing as a means of solving social problems.Please do not allow this bill to pass from committee.
01-14-2021
amber smith []
Nooooooooooooooo. No need for the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Kristen Weaverling []
The death penalty is just as ineffective as it is immoral. It does not represent Iowa values and shouldn't be up for consideration in any modern society.
01-14-2021
Marcia Swift []
As a friend of the late John Ely Jr I must emphatically ask that we not have a death penalty for state crimes in Iowa. John and so many others worked so hard to eliminate the death penalty. With the advent of DNA many people are found to be innocent after spending so many years in prison. There is nothing but hypocrisy in your antiabortion stand and your pro death penalty stand. Life is life. Where there is life there is hope. Please do not make my state even more cruel then it has already become u Der Republican rule.
01-14-2021
Tara Tarnowski []
Please vote no on advancing this bill. I have always been proud that Iowa has no death penalty. Reinstating it does not reflect the morality of Iowans. Killing someone is never a moral option, especially as a statesanctioned punishment. What is more, there have been too many cases of wrongfully convicted people on Death Row. One innocent person killed us too many. I suggest you should read the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, it is really enlightening about the state of our justice system and death penalty cases.
01-14-2021
Maggie Canero []
Capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime. We know this already. We know that the death penalty is expensive, ineffective, and often misused to murder innocent people. Iowa is already behind on so many issues, we do not need to regress in this aspect as well. Vote NO and focus on how to HELP Iowans, not punish them.
01-14-2021
Lynn Laws []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004. Multiple studies show that capital punishment is not a deterrent to murder. Therefore, if we choose to use this ineffective tool, aren't we just serving our base instincts and committing murder, too?
01-14-2021
Julie Seiler []
Im an Iowa voter, I vote in all elections and I strongly oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty. One in ten people on death row are eventually exonerated. Killing innocent people should not happen and it will happen if this bill passes. It is costly and known not to be a deterrent to crime. If someone is later exonerated there is no take backs for execution. Oppose this bill!
01-14-2021
Larry Kaster []
I suggest to all members to vote against establishing the death penalty in Iowa. There is zero evidence suggesting a death penalty acts as a deterrent to 1st degree murder. Also, criminals on death row cost taxpayers far more than if they spend life in prison. This bill will cost your constituents money and hurt other programs that help prevent crime.
01-14-2021
Anna Wehde []
I strongly oppose this bill. The death penalty is not a good option. It is costly, mistakes happen regularly, and no crime should give anyone else permission to murder someone.
01-14-2021
Chris Skuster []
Killing is wrong, and it is still wrong in the form of statesanctioned murder. Please oppose this dangerous legislation.
01-14-2021
Erica McGowan []
I urge you to vote NO to SSB 1004. Iowa does not need the death penalty. This would be so costly to the state. Instead, lets fund mental health care appropriately. With a strong mental health care system, we could potentially prevent these horrific crimes.
01-14-2021
Rachael Hemp []
I oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa. Until such time that our legislative, executive, and judicial systems are working perfectly for EVERY citizen of our state, such an irreversible outcome is inappropriate.Thank you for your service,Rachael Hemp
01-14-2021
Aissa Pattee []
I strongly oppose SSB 1104. The death penalty is both barbaric and incredibly outdated.
01-14-2021
Joseph Roth []
The death penalty has no place in Iowa it is applied disparately and places the focus on punishment, instead of prevention of crime.
01-14-2021
Pierrette Wolfe []
Two of our daughters were murdered almost seven years ago in Pennsylvania, a death penalty state. We were relieved that in the penalty phase of the trial, the jury did not impose the death penalty. The murderer is in prison for life without possibility of release, and our family is not subjected to years of further headlines and court hearings. There is no justice or closure for the families in seeing the murderer of their loved ones on death row. The average time before execution is twentyfive YEARS, and the cost to taxpayers for each case is three million dollars. We are satisfied, in the case of Suzy and Sarahs murder, that the State did a good job of solving the case and obtaining a just verdict of life without parole. We agree with all the arguments against the death penalty that have succeeded before in avoiding this barbaric change to Iowas law. Please do not make us complicit in more violence and death.
01-14-2021
Emily Perrott []
I urge you to vote NO on SSB 1004. While we can all agree these crimes are despicable and vile, capital punishment is equally despicable and vile. Capital punishment only continues a cycle of violence and death. First, the death penalty has been shown not to be a deterrent to violent crime. It is also an irrevocable punishment once acted upon. Should the person later be found innocent due to new evidence, etc., it violates their due process because they are dead. Furthermore, the death penalty is applied disproportionately to people of color, the poor, and other marginalized groups. Offenders whose victims are white are also more likely to get the death penalty than those whose victims are people of color. In addition, those with mental health issues are also more likely to receive the death penalty. Capital punishment is costly and squanders already limited resources (time, money, etc.) that could be use to prevent and solve other crimes. It also draws out the trauma and grieving of the victim's loved ones. There is a perfectly acceptable alternative to the death penalty: life without the possibility of parole.
01-14-2021
Melanie Stall []
I oppose the death penalty. Period.
01-14-2021
Paxton Gillespie []
The death penalty is a barbaric practice. It does nothing to eliminate the harms of violent crimes, does nothing to alleviate the suffering of victims, and further perpetuates a cycle of violence. I ask any and all lawmakers to fiercely oppose the reinstating of the death penalty in the state of Iowa. No more blood has to be cruelly and unjustly spilled.
01-14-2021
Katy Young []
Really? In the middle of a pandemic this is your first priority? Capital punishment is barbaric. And it costs the taxpayers more than life without parole. Spend my tax dollars on something useful for gods sake.
01-14-2021
Denise Warzak []
The death penalty is an outdated tool that was partly designed to enforce the most severe of criminal cases. We know it does not deter such heinous crimes. In many cases, the places that have the highest number of executions also have the highest murder rates. Mistakes happen and innocent people have and will likely continue to be executed mistakes that can never be reversed. Since 1973, over 156 people have been released from death row due to mistakes made by the judicial system. A large portion of folks from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are usually the ones set for execution, often due to lack of good legal representation. There is also the point of executions often getting botched which, barring the cruelty to the criminal, is difficult for the executioners to have to witness and bear. Death row is an expensive, ineffective waste of tax payer money where the decision to take a life cannot be undone.
01-14-2021
Michelle Parker []
Do not reinstate the death penalty. Iowa, do not support capital punishment.
01-14-2021
Audra Saunders []
The death penalty is a waste of taxpayer funds and has no public safety benefit. It does not deter crime and is often applied unfairly based on income, race, and education level.
01-14-2021
Vicki Ingham []
Please do not vote for SSB 1004 to go forward. I can see by the amendments that you are attempting to address issues of indigent defendants not having access to adequate counsel, mental incapacity of the defendant, and of racial, religious, and other types of bias. But however carefully you try to frame the bill to avoid the known injustices and pitfalls that have occurred in death penalty cases, you will not be able to avoid the possibility of convicting and killing the wrong person. As others have noted, the death penalty is expensive, not an effective deterrent to crime, and carries too great a risk of perpetuating injustice. Please let Iowa remain free of the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Richard Mueggenberg []
Reinstating the death penalty when other states are going away from it is the most idiotic thing. End this bill before it even starts.
01-14-2021
Sarah Purcell []
I absolutely oppose the death penalty and urge the Iowa legislature not to go down this path. Respect lifeall life. Dont do this.
01-14-2021
Ryan Frank []
Please oppose SSB 1004. The reinstatement of capital punishment is barbaric and immoral. Studies are clear that the death penalty is not an effective form of punishment. Not only that, but it is costly. Cost should not be a factor (if you are a good person); but if you are considering legalized murder, then I figure maybe your economic concerns could change your position. With this information presented, it seems the only reason that one would support such murder would be out of a disdain for human life, and a desire to perpetuate the killing/abuse you claim to be against. Iowa can not go back to such cruel practices. If you care about human life at all, you will vote no on SSB 1004.
01-14-2021
Amy Evans []
The death penalty is statesanctioned brutality. Its racist, cruel, and an affront to all morality. Do NOT reinstate the death penalty in Iowa and Fuck Kim Reynolds and Fuck the Republican Party for their continued assault on Iowans* right to life.*totallybornalreadyIowans just to clarify for the assholes who want to restrict abortions
01-14-2021
Alexson Calahan []
Hello,Please do not reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. It disproportionately is applied not to the "worst of the worst" offenders, but to people who are the most vulnerable. Please focus criminal justice resources on rehabilitation and prevention through reducing childhood trauma and lifting each Iowan up. Thank you.
01-14-2021
Taylor Nelson []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004. The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. The injection is not a quick and painless death. Weve recently seen executions be schedule even though there is inadequate evidence of the persons crime. The death penalty would disproportionately affect people of color, black people in particular. I oppose the death penalty and urge you to do the same.
01-14-2021
Tim Lapointe []
Please defeat this bill for the death penalty. The death penalty is cruel and unusual. Many innocent and wrongly accused have been put to death. With advances in science, forensic evidence is bound to get better and prove even more capital defendants innocent. ( They are supposed to be presumed innocent.)The death penalty discriminates on the basis of race. Read the book Just Mercy, if you have any doubts about this. And it is obviously immoral.
01-14-2021
Heidi Hill []
In a civilized society there is no reason this should ever happen. We have the ability within our prison system to protect our citizens by having the "hidden death penalty" which is LWOP. Just Mercy showed that 1 in 10 on death row were exonerated with new DNA evidence. Do you really want to take that chance of putting a innocent man to death? This is wrong and I beg you not to vote for this bill.
01-14-2021
Ashley Kirvin []
On average for every ten people executed, one is innocent. We cannot take these risks. We do not like in a just nor a trauma informed society, this makes the death penalty a cruel and unusual punishment for persons who grew up in a toxic household. Persons who are sex offenders were often once violated themselves. This practice is dated, flawed, and ineffective from stopping the cycle of trauma. This country does not need more blood on its hands, no matter how heinous the crime.
01-14-2021
Virginia Griesheimer []
I oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa. Please vote no on this bill. There are other means by which justice can be served for the crimes listed within this bill.
01-14-2021
Abigail Boyd []
Please vote no on this bill. The death penalty is immoral and costly. We are better than this. These are horrific crimes but reinstating the death penalty is not the answer.
01-14-2021
Diane Jones []
Capital punishment does not reflect a right to life. In addition, it is ineffective as a deterrent, it is costly in terms of appeals and court battles, and it often falls on the wrongly accused who were poorly defended. There is no reason to support capital punishment other than virtue signaling to white supremacists. Do not pursue this bill. It does not represent the will of Iowans. There are so many more social and economic issues where we need real relief.
01-14-2021
Kyle Happ []
The death penalty is extreme and irreversible. Multiple studies have shown it doesn't deter crime and ends up costing more.
01-14-2021
Amanda Larsen []
Capital punishment holds no place in society. The assumption that the death penalty does any good for society has been proven wrong over and over again. We should not reinstate state sanctioned death. Please at least attempt to have a scrap of humanity.
01-14-2021
Helena LaCorte []
I highly oppose this bill. The death penalty is immoral and incredibly cruel form of punishment. It leaves no backup plan for the falsely accused, and perpetuates a cycle of violence. Please oppose this bill.
01-14-2021
Paul Witmer []
Please do not pass this bill. It is a waste of time and money. The death penalty is not good public policy and Iowa is better without it. We can do better, and I'm ashamed that this is the first bill introduced in a session of our state legislature. Do better.
01-14-2021
Josie Johnson []
The death penalty is not only inhumane, discriminatory, and arbitrary, but it often claims innocent lives and doesnt even prevent crime. Please vote against the bill.
01-14-2021
Stephanie Horak []
Hello ladies & gentlemen,Do I hear a death penalty bill is up for consideration? I urge you to turn away from this.I am not particularly prolife and I really don't care what happens to hardened, vile criminals, but the death penalty is a big suck of time and resources. Surely this money can be spent some other way? Education funding for instance!Additionally, it is well documented that innocent people have been put to death, which is obviously not an optimal situation for them.Waste of time. Move on.Thanks for your consideration.Stephanie HorakUrbandale 11
01-14-2021
JOANN SADLER []
The death penalty puts innocent lives at risk. Since 1976, 138 innocent Americans have been released from death row. To execute an innocent person is morally reprehensible and a risk we should never take. Vote no on this bill.
01-14-2021
Chase Krug []
I urge the subcommittee members to vehemently vote no on this bill. Capital punishment is immoral, very expensive, and increases injustice within the judicial system. Additionally, evidence clearly demonstrates that capital punishment does not act as a criminal deterrent. The death penalty is an abhorrent and cruel punishment that should be left to rot in the dustbin of history where it belongs.
01-14-2021
Andrei Migunov []
Utterly heinous bill. The death penalty is nothing other than a revenge fantasy. Every crime ever committed had an explanation whose basis is in our own society and what it offers and provides. Your focus as legislators should be to address such problems at that level income, education, guaranteed employment, health care. Taking away a life is not a solution, whatever moral gymnastics one might engage in.
01-14-2021
Adam Brewster []
As someone who follows Jesus, it is so backwards that we would want to support the very tool of the state that led to Our Lords death. We have no right to kill not even the worst members of society.As a citizen, the death penalty is not a deterrent of any measurable efficacy.But it sure is good at disproportionately impacting people on the margins of our society.It costs exorbitant amounts taxpayer money that could be better spent on healing the ailments of society that lead to many of these crimes in the first place.Lets not go backwards. Lets work for a better society than one that kills off its undesirable members.
01-14-2021
Brianna Brewster []
This bill is unconscionable and reprehensible. This proposed response to these types of crimes is shortsighted and it is a response that completely lacks imagination and care. As Bryan Stevenson said, "The death penalty is not about whether people deserve to die for the crimes they commit. The real question of capital punishment in this country is, Do we deserve to kill? There are so many steps before we get to this point and it is in those steps that social supports are needed. Put your energy and resources there. In mental health supports, economic supports, and other structural supports instead of putting your energy towards a ruthless and lazy solution.
01-14-2021
Mary Sand [Amnesty International]
No government should be in the business of killing its own citizens for whatever reason. It solves nothing while imposing unacceptable consequencesits expensive, it does not make communities more safe, the poor and nonwhite are more likely to receive it, and executions of innocents happens. Innocent people on death row continue to be exonerated. It diminishes us as a society. I am not arguing that some people may deserve it. I am arguing that the death penalty is bad for us all. Iowas prison population is disproportionately people of color. If Iowa cant get sentencing right now, why would we think a death penalty would be imposed fairly? Please do not go down this road.
01-14-2021
Michael Jones []
Incredible waste of time. The death penalty is costlier than life sentences and in no way deters crime. It also eliminates any possibility of rehabilitation, which is actually the point of incarceration.
01-14-2021
Lauren Benson []
The death penalty is cruel and inherently racist. The government doesnt deserve the power to kill someone.
01-14-2021
Lydia Ponder []
The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment and should be abolished nationwide. Shame on you for attempting to reinstate it in Iowa.
01-14-2021
Josh Steeples []
It cant be overstated or overpunctuated how terrible of an idea this is to even be considered. There is no instance in which we can justify state sanctioned murder regardless of the offense. Its simply a barbaric and archaic practice that only regresses and dehumanizes us, sending a message to our culture that destroying human lives is acceptable so long as you can justify it. If nothing else we should be able to agree that absolutely must be our compass if we truly want to reduce violent crime. We need to elevate the importance of life not brutally gut it thus feeding the circular pattern of violence that breeds these tragedies. Additionally 156 people have been released from death row since 73 which is a testament to the profound inaccuracies and unreliable nature of the justice systems which disproportionately effect the most marginalized in our communities. Consider the horror of how many innocent people have been murdered by the state just to be later exonerated? It is a colossal waste of taxpayer money and there is absolutely no evidence that it is a meaningful crime deterrent. And again most importantly it validates murder as a reasonable option to those weighing if for their own horrible means. Consider the brightest part of your own heart be it guided by faith or reverence and love for your own people and the deep desire to see us elevated closer to who we should and can be. That part that wishes to rehabilitate even the worst of us no matter how difficult that may be in a moment. There is no path forward if we do not hold life itself with the highest regard. If our systems can approve of this then surely the worst among us will do the same. Please, make the right decision and emphatically shut this down before it destroys countless more lives than it will protect.
01-14-2021
Laura Deavers []
First, capital punishment is abhorrent and unethical, period. Yes, the offenses described in the proposed bill are equally abhorrent and terrifying. However, the history of bias in the justice system shows us that no system is perfect, and this is an issue that has not been resolved to date. People can be and have been falsely accused. Next, while advances in technology have helped more recently in determining guilt for these types of cases, it is not impossible that errors could still be made. The convicted should have the opportunity to appeal in light of new evidence, which is not possible after capital punishment. Last, I second the comments of the ACLU and thank them for advocating for civil and human rights. Thank you for your time and consideration.
01-14-2021
Luis Gomez []
The government should not have the power to murder its citizens regardless of the circumstances. We as society must work together to devise a more just, transparent justice system and a humane way to rehabilitate people who commit crimes and hurt others. Killing someone based on what our broken justice system decides is barbaric, we are more civilized than that. Please stop this nonsense and focus on helping our communities get through this pandemic. It is a waste of your time to even have to discuss this bill in such times as these.
01-14-2021
Patricia Scheinost [Southwest Iowa Law Office]
I urge the committee to oppose any bill creating a death penalty in the State of Iowa. The death penalty does not reduce crime, is very expensive and morally wrong.
01-14-2021
Morgan Muell []
This is a terrible idea. It is clear that the death penalty ends up being used to murder falsely accused brown and black and people. The risk of murder of an innocent person, especially when there is a clear bias toward putting black and brown people on death row, far outweighs any perceived satisfaction of killing someone who is guilty, which is the only thing gained from this. You cant make the argument that reinstating it frees up prison resources because few people are executed every year (still too many under risk of murdering someone falsely accused), and if the system wanted to free up funds then they should release and expunge records for harmless marijuana possession cases, as many other states are doing. Raw hatred and vengeance is not worth the risks of reinstating this. The courts also have plenty of other things should be doing with their time than long litigation battles on death row anyway. The threat of the death penalty clearly does not discourage these crimes from occurring either. It is inhumane, and it is cruel and unusual punishment, so it is beyond me why it has not been found to be unconstitutional, especially given the risk of murdering someone falsely accused. The government should not be able to murder its citizens. Even for the worst offenders, there are sufficient alternatives to inflict punishment for a severe crime.
01-14-2021
Maryann Wegener []
Iowa does NOT need the death penalty!
01-14-2021
MaraBeth Soneson []
I am writing to oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty. Please vote NO on SSB 1004. It is inhumane, expensive, and serves no purpose. A lifetime sentence provides a deterrent and necessary societal safety.Committee consideration of this bill displays a lack of prioritization of Iowa's real needs and problems COVID management, Derecho recovery, economic recovery, a cogent energy policy, and the vast needs in education.Please vote "NO" and focus on germane topics that further Iowa's wellbeing.
01-14-2021
Lori Rinehart []
Do not reinstate the death penalty. It is not a deterrent, it is expensive, it is applied disproportionately to black and brown people and is just plain wrong. Do not be on the wrong side of history.
01-14-2021
Mariah Kauder []
I strongly oppose any attempt to reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. Not only is it morally repugnant, but the death penalty is not an effective deterrent, is more expensive, and is irreversible for those cases where mistakes are made (and mistakes will and do happen).
01-14-2021
Alicia C. []
Vote NO on establishing the death penalty in Iowa. It is inhumane and has no place in our justice system.
01-14-2021
Kaci Tobin []
Do not reinstate the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Ernest Jones [Retired]
No,capital punishment doesn't deter anyone from heinous crimes!
01-14-2021
Madeline Cano []
Do not reinstate the death penalty. Government sanctioned murder is not the answer to addressing crime in Iowa. Our criminal justice system should be committed to real, effective reform. The death penalty does nothing to reform people. Its a very permanent action that we cannot come back from. Too many times we have seen people be put to death who ended up being innocent. Even ONE wrongful conviction is not worth the risk. I fully expect any legislator who identifies as a prolife person to fight against the reinstatement of the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Nancy Hamilton []
I respectfully urge you to not move this bill to the full committee. We know that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime and is extremely costly to implement. It would be a waste of tax dollars, given that Iowa already has life in prison for firstdegree murder. The risk of the death penalty being applied to innocent people and the fact that it is applied disproportionately to people of color make it immoral, as well.
01-14-2021
Taylor March []
I urge you to oppose SSB 1004. Capital punishment is barbaric, immoral, and ends a human life. The voting records of both Sen. Garrett and Sen. Schultz show dedication to what are typically seen as prolife ideals. Legalizing the killing of Iowans is not prolife at all, it is in fact as contrary to those ideals as possible. This is hypocrisy at its finest and shows that being prolife is not at all about saving a life. If you support the legal murder of your own living citizens, the same ones who elected you to hold a seat in the state senate, you have no business serving the people of Iowa. OPPOSE SSB 1004.
01-14-2021
Jake Bouma []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment and is often unfairly assigned. We are better than this in Iowa.
01-14-2021
Jennifer Herrington []
It breaks my heart to hear that this is the very first thing Iowa legislators choose to address. In the middle of a pandemic, with so many families and neighbor and communities suffering, we need hope and life and support. We do not need more death. As a Catholic, I strongly oppose the death penalty as an affront to God. Pro life means all life.
01-14-2021
Caroline Barlow []
The argument that the death penalty reduces crime is ludicrous. It is an inhumane, ineffective, and violent attempt at crime reduction, not to mention it's unspeakably and disproportionately harmful impacts on communities of color nationwide. Capital punishment is a gross and uncivilized abnegation of personal liberties by the state and we cannot give it the the power to ceremoniously kill it's citizens in the name of justice.
01-14-2021
Theresa Tucker []
The death penalty should NOT be reinstated in Iowa. Our criminal justice system should be focused on rehabilitation of the convicted and reparation to the victim.
01-14-2021
Alex Carter []
The death penalty is a relic of a barbaric and cruel world that so many have worked tirelessly to move beyond. This bill must be opposed by every member with any shred of moral decency or conscience. Our broken and biased criminal justice system neither needs nor should allow for the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Sarah Gard []
The death penalty is cruel and immoral. We do not have a right to kill people as punishment for crimes they have committed, even if it was an effective deterrent, which it has not been shown to be. Additionally, the fact that people have been executed for crimes they've later been found *to not even be guilty of* should give anyone permanent pause. Iowa should be ashamed to even be considering making the death penalty legal under any circumstances.
01-14-2021
Debbie HammesWalsh []
I respectfully request that bill SSB 1004 not be allowed to move out of committee. As a pro life advocate, I am emphatically against this bill. Please do not allow this bill to move forward.
01-14-2021
Stephanie Fholer []
Under no circumstances should the death penalty be reinstated in Iowa.
01-14-2021
Desarea Fagan []
I oppose SSB 1004. The death penalty is inhumane and cannot be undone if new evidence is brought forward. The death penalty is incredibly hypocritical and is used more as tool of control rather than a punishment.
01-14-2021
Mariah Buckner []
Capital punishment should not be reinstated in Iowa. My mother always told me to never threaten a punishment that you cant follow through. To that point, sourcing the drugs for lethal injection would be legally murky to impossible as the state of Nebraska has experienced. Other methods for execution have failed the cruel and unusual punishment test. We dont need to go down the road of finding acceptable methods of execution, either. Capital punishment isnt a deterrent for those who would commit the crimes outlined in the bill. It is also more costly to carry out a sentence of capital punishment than life in prison. There are people sentenced for a crime they did not commit. While being imprisoned for something you didnt do is bad enough, we cant take back an execution if someone is later exonerated. This would be a bad bill even in normal times but its especially galling to see that capital punishment is a priority for you when people are suffering and dying from this pandemic.
01-14-2021
Leslie Carpenter [Iowa Mental Health Advocacy]
As the mom of an adult son who lives with a serious mental illness, one of my nightmares has been worrying that our son might become dangerous to self or others and because our hospital beds are so limited, we might not be able to get him admitted while he was dangerous and might end up actually hurting himself or someone else. We all know that many people with mental illnesses and/or intellectual disabilities have already been executed in our country, with the most recent example being Lisa Montgomery who was executed late Tuesday night by the Federal Government. There was ample evidence that she had mental illness, and yet, she was killed anyway.Furthermore, having a death penalty is costly, timeconsuming, cruel, and morally wrong. One wrong does not justify another wrong.In addition, there is no possibility for correcting the error if a person is wrongfully convicted. The examples of wrong convictions are too numerous to list.We, as a caring society can have life sentences to protect the public when they are merited. They cost less and act as a deterrent.I urge you to not pass this bill on thru this subcommittee. We can do so much better than this.
01-14-2021
Katherine Sulek []
While I believe there are some cases in which the death penalty may be just I cannot support SSB 1004. I am not convinced of our ability as a society to render that judgement fairly. As the 173 cases posted on the death penalty information center webpage show, we have placed innocent citizens on death row before. Even if we could assert the citizens guilt without question, I do not support the death penalty as I believe it furthers inequity among our citizens. In states with the death penalty it has been shown that when the victim is white the perpetrator is more likely to receive the death penalty than if the victim is black or another person of color.
01-14-2021
Stephanie Schneider []
Do not reinstate this horrific and savage punishment. There is no need for this. Life jail sentence for top tier crimes is enough! I will be so ashamed of my state if this is route you choose. This decision represents weak thinking and problem solving. Please email me why we are even considering going back to that!
01-14-2021
Elizabeth Brauer []
I do not support the death penalty. Improve the lives of Iowas children and families so they dont end up as offenders.
01-14-2021
Stephanie Smith []
The death penalty has been recognized as inhumane in nearly every other developed nation across the world. It is abhorrent, immoral, a wrought with biases against racial minorities, the poor, and individuals with intellectual disabilities. It is the only punishment that cannot be reversed in the alarmingly high number of instances in which the person has been found to be wrongfully convicted. It is also an incredibly costly practice for the states who use this barbaric process, and is essentially statesanctioned murder. There is no infrastructure in Iowa to carry out death penalties, and for good reason. In a time when we need to be showing more compassion and empathy towards our fellow human beings, this is entirely the wrong thing to do, and I think the vast majority of Iowa Senators and Representatives would agree which makes this bill a complete waste of time and energy. Please see that this bill goes no further.
01-14-2021
Chris Chamberlin []
The death sentence is not a deterrent, it is expensive, and it should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. It is an action that once done there is no remedy from, so when new evidence and processes come out that show the person that was executed may not have been guilty after all (and this has happened many times) what then? This is absolutely horrendous and I can not believe with everything else that is going on right now that this is even being discussed. Please do not move forward with such a barbaric act.
01-14-2021
Meaghan Harding []
Do not reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. This would be a major step BACK for our society.
01-14-2021
Kelby Hahn []
I urge my representatives to oppose this bill. The addition of a death penalty is deeply concerning for the moral compass of our state not to mention that it is a vodtly and ineffective means of protecting our citizens. If you want to represent your constituents, you will not support this bill.
01-14-2021
Lee Schott [Pastor, Valley United Methodist Church, West Des Moines]
As a pastor and faith leader, I urge you to oppose this bill. The death penalty is wrong on so many moral and practical levels, including our proven inability to apply it in a raceneutral way. It will not make us safer and it will definitely not make us better, to be in the business of ending people's lives. We left this inhumane punishment behind decades ago; it needs to stay in our shameful history. Please vote NO on SSB 1004, and get to work on bills that will improve the lives of Iowans. We are better than this.
01-14-2021
K. S. []
Please vote no on 1004. The death penalty has no place in our state. We got rid of it for good reason. Not only does it cost more than life in prison, it is not our places to decide life or death for individuals. I personally experienced sexual abuse as a minor, but I still urge you to vote no on this bill.
01-14-2021
Jennifer Morrow []
Please do not reinstate the death penalty. It is not a deterrent to criminal behavior and, more importantly, is inhumane and wildly immoral. No one, not an individual and not the state, has the right to conclude the life of another.
01-14-2021
Carleigh Mach []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004. It is inhumane and Iowa is better than this.
01-14-2021
Meghan Smith []
I am commenting in opposition to imposing the death penalty in Iowa. It's inhumane, has led to the execution of many innocent people, and there's no proof that it is an effective deterrent to those who would commit a serious crime. Many countries have abolished the death penalty due to these and other problems, and while it remains in the US it does not have to happen in Iowa.
01-14-2021
Rachel Snodgrass []
Please oppose this bill. Too many innocent people have already been killed because of capital punishment. It is not the governments place to decide who lives and who dies. This would be a huge step backwards for the state.
01-14-2021
Jenna Riordan []
Please vote No on SSB 1004. Organizations like the Equal Justice Initiative and many others have proven time and time again that there are many individuals on death row who have not received a fair trial. Anytime an individual does not receive a fair trial, our justice system has failed them and the consequences are horrendous. By pursuing capital punishment as an option for serious offenders, we risk unjustly ending the lives of citizens of this country. Our justice system should be pursuing rehabilitation, not justifying the ending of a human life.
01-14-2021
Nickie Nguyen []
This is an attack against human rights. When there's a pandemic without sufficient aid, many are looking toward state leaders for support and yet we see a decision to prioritize a bill meant to kill. When there is clear and blatant discrimination in the justice system as it is, the message is clear. Please vote against the death penalty!
01-14-2021
Lex J []
Lets just be honest and morally correct: state sanctioned murder is not christian, its more expensive than life in prison, and it causes more families to hurt & does not bring closure or the dead back. Also theres the issue of Black and brown people being wrongly accused of crimes constantly and you dont want innocent blood on your hands (ahem, DSMPD!!). The people of Iowa have spoken, we want you to listen otherwise we will continue to vote you out. America is only great without the death penalty. As GOD said, thou shalt not murder.
01-14-2021
Cara Donels []
I am ashamed of Iowa that this is a discussion we are having in 2021. The death penalty is not cost effective. Moreover, it is a moral abomination in light of the KNOWN innocent conviction rate. Iowa should not have the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Anna Bland []
Do not reinstate the death penalty. Too many people are wrongly convicted and later found to be not guilty. It is not a deterrent or cost saving measure. Beyond all those highly compelling reasons, its just wrong. The state should not be able to kill people. Life in prison without parole is sufficient punishment for the most heinous crimes.
01-14-2021
Rev. Meg Wagner [Beloved Community Initiative ]
As an Episcopal priest I affirm the stance of my denomination that the premeditated and unnecessary killing of a person is unchristian and beyond the legitimate powers of the state. Since 1958, The Episcopal Church has taught that the sacredness of life requires that no individual or group of individuals have the right to unnecessarily take the life of another person. The taking of a human life can be necessary in selfdefense and war, but as retribution for even the most heinous crimes it is not justified. I strongly urge you to reject this bill as other Iowa legislators have done since the death penalty was eliminated in Iowa in 1965.
01-14-2021
Michael Damico []
This is not the type of legislation we need for this great state at this juncture in time, and shows the priorities of this administration. Not only will this be costly to taxpayers, it will only attempt to create greater profits for privatized corrections.Please do not vote for this legislation and focus on providing economic assistance to taxpayers and small businesses, and focus on protecting all residents.
01-14-2021
Claire Simmons []
No one can dispute that these crimes are horrific, however, the death penalty is not the correct punishment for any crime, no matter the magnitude. This goes back to the notion of basic human treatment: an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. As Iowans, the death penalty is not the correct reflection of how we view basic human life. We already have a lot to be proud of with our department of justice. There is absolutely NO need for us to cross a line that doesnt need to be crossed. Simply inhumane, dehumanizing and disturbing.
01-14-2021
Kathy Dozler []
I am opposed to the death penalty. The government should not make the decision on who lives and dies. Innocent people will be executed and that action cannot be undone.
01-14-2021
Bonnie Murphy []
Please do not reinstate the death penalty in Iowa for any offense. Research strongly indicates that the death penalty is not a deterrent, is disproportionately costly, and is unequally administered to people of color and the poor.Additionally, society sanctioning the taking of a life normalizes the revenge ethic, which is counterproductive in establishing a nonviolent populous.
01-14-2021
Jackie Stellish []
THINK ABOUT IT FOR A MINUTE. IF YOU ADD DEATH PENALTY FOR KIDNAPPING WHAT IS THE LIKELIHOOD THEY ARE GOING TO LET THE CHILD GO ONCE THEY HAVE TAKEN THEM? THEY WON'T. IF THEY KNOW THE PENALTY IS DEATH FOR KIDNAPPING WHY WOULD THEY LEAVE A VICTIM ALIVE TO TESTIFY AGAINST THEM? YOUR FLAWED LOGIC AND BADLY WRITTEN LEGISLATION WILL RESULT IN MORE CHILDREN GETTING MURDERED.
01-14-2021
Chelsea Moore []
I oppose this bill and urge all parties to vote NO. It has been proven that capital punishment is not a crime deterrent. Additionally and unsurprisingly, capital punishment disproportionately affects Black and POC individuals. It is inhumane, costly, and risky (e.g. there have been too many documented cases of wrongful execution). I urge you all to use your time to review and pass legislation that will actually help Iowans to progress and thrive.
01-14-2021
Lexi Nicole []
I am vehemently opposed to reinstating the death penalty. Not only is it a callous treatment of human life, but it is also more expensive to maintain when appeals, lawyers, court cases etc. are factored in. No state with so many legislators that claim to be "prolife" should willingly support literal murder as punishment.
01-14-2021
Sheila Myers []
Please stop this proposed bill in its tracks!
01-14-2021
Laura Berardi []
The death penalty is abhorrent. The mark of an UNcivilized society. It is fallible, and for that reason alone should never be used. But it is also barbaric and the very definition of cruel punishment. It has no place in a just justice system.
01-14-2021
Jill Morehead []
Iowa has a history of being in the forefront of history when it comes to human rights. Do not reinstate the death penalty, especially in a system that disproportionately targets people of color. It is more costly for the taxpayer. It is not an effective deterrent against crime. There are other alternatives. And there are multiple examples of people sentenced to death being proved innocent. Say NO to reinstating the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Claire Celsi [Iowa Senate]
Surrounding states that already have the death penalty spend millions per year on maintaining a death penalty system, even in years where no executions take place. Iowa should invest more money in early childhood education which is correlated with fewer people being incarcerated over their lifetime. For every one dollar spent on early childhood education, seven dollars can be saved on prison costs that are not spent. Trying and convicting an inmate for a capitol offense can cost double or triple that same case with a life in prison sentence. The death penalty is statesponsored murder and no Iowan should be asked to support this draconian measure with their tax dollars.
01-14-2021
Kelly Leaman []
I absolutely do not support this. There are other ways to handle punishments for severe crimes. The world needs less death. Coming from the "prolife" party, y'all seem awfully eager to start murdering people especially considering the high margin of error of putting to death innocent people.
01-14-2021
Warren Varley []
OpposedThe cost far outweighs any benefit.
01-14-2021
David Borger Germann []
I'm writing to express strong disapproval of this bill. There are many compelling reasons for the state to NOT adopt the death penalty: It is cost prohibitive. Death penalty cases cost far MORE for the tax payers than pursuing other sentencing. Why would we ask Iowans to pay more taxes for this? It disproportionately affects people of color. This is basic science, not an argument. There are wellresearched studies that prove this. To pretend it's an argument to be had is equivalent to supporting flatearth theories. It doesn't work as a crime deterrent. There is no evidence that links enacting the death penalty to causing lower levels of violent crime. I will add that this is deeply personal for me. I am a pastor at a nondenominational Christian church. As a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ who said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God." Jesus was called "the Prince of Peace," a title we celebrate every year at Christmas. I am called, above all things, to love my neighbor as myself. I can think of no worse way to demonstrate love for neighbor than killing one as a punishment. I understand the world is violent. We need responsible law enforcement. My dad is a county prosecutor, and we talk regularly about fair and just prosecution. But the death penalty is not an answer it is a disease that corrupts justice into vengeance. It does not belong in the state of Iowa. Thank you,David Borger GermannPastor, Sanctuary Community ChurchCoralville, IA
01-14-2021
Gianfranco Berardi [Gianfranco Berardi]
I oppose the death penalty. I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, that the state cannot possibly be infallible as has been demonstrated by every state in which a death penalty existed, that the death penalty has been demonstrated to be disproportionately used against marginalized people, and that the death penalty is the opposite of justice.
01-14-2021
Tanya Hermann []
Please vote no on this bill. Capital punishment is not a deterrent, it is costly, and is not something Iowa should be known for. There are people who have been put to death and were later found to be not guilty of the crime they were accused of. There is so much injustice happening towards Black people and POC, and we need to focus on making sure our systems of justice are not causing more harm to them at any level. Money should be spent to better our social services and mental health programs. Please vote NO!
01-14-2021
Morgan Roy []
Reinstating the death penalty will only increase racial disparities that already exist within our legal and justice systems. Bringing back the death penalty would be doing Iowans a disservice.
01-14-2021
Abbi Cobb []
The death penalty is ineffective in deterring crime, its costly, and historically, its been used to disproportionately punish black men, many of whom were not guilty of the crime they were convicted for. If you can read and research these facts and STILL support it, you are illogical and racist.
01-14-2021
Jan Lehr [retired]
Please vote no on SSB 1004. There is no good time to enact a law to 'kill' a human being. Why is this even an issue? At this horrible violent time in our history is possibly the worst time to even be considering this. We don't need the risk of convicting and eliminating the wrong person which has happened in the past. In fact, our prison system is failing us and those who are guilty of any crime. Can't we try harder to rehabilitate prisoners. I am not saying that guilty murderers, kidnappers should be free but let's not be guilty of another killing.
01-14-2021
Sharelle Moranville []
Please oppose this bill. It's a tool of social injustice. It's immoral. It's expensive. It stains our humanity.
01-14-2021
Amelia Lobo [Des Moines resident]
I am terribly disappointed in this bill coming back up. Is our legal system a system for justice or a system for retribution? Imposing the death penalty is not justice it is a violation of human rights carried out by the state. Killing another person, regardless of guilt, will never make the victim whole. What it does do is corrode our humanity. In addition, the death penalty is disproportionally applied to nonWhite people, to individuals with severe mental illness or intellectual disabilities, and to the poor. It does not deter crime and it costs the state much more to administer. We need to return to a justice system based on human rights, on restorative practices, and on rehabilitation. Iowans, we are better than this.
01-14-2021
Abbi Cobb []
In addition to the ineffectiveness, costliness, and racist implications of the death penalty, it does NOTHING to address the underlying causes of crime. If you are serious about waging war on crime, you need to examine the effects of factors such as trauma, poverty, education, unemployment, and disability on crime (both individually and socially). If your goal is to decrease crime, you would fund social services, instead of financially strangling these resources. Anyone that supports SB1004 is either uninformed or they just hate poor folks and people of color.
01-14-2021
Anna Zilbermints []
The death penalty is immoral, and while most of the justice system needs to be reformed, the death penalty will not help. It is ineffective at preventing or reducing crime, and is in no way the answer.
01-14-2021
Diane Churchill []
It has been proven the death penalty is not a deterrent. Many convicted have been proved innocent through DNA discovered after the fact, years later.
01-14-2021
Jonathan Sims []
Vote no. The death penalty helps us in no way. I cannot believe that you're considering this when we have a pandemic and so many more important issues to solve. The death penalty does not deter crime and it's also ridiculously expensive.
01-14-2021
Natalie Schafbuch []
I strongly oppose the reinstatement of the dealth penalty under any circumstance. I'm so proud to be part of a state where we do not have the dealth penalty. There is too much room for error and bias, not only in the criminal cases, but with the carrying out of the lethal injection. This is cruel to all human life. Iowa is better than this and humans are worth more than this. Please do not reinstate.
01-14-2021
Thomas Carsner []
Iowans have removed the death penalty from consideration since 1965, and defeated attempts to revive it since. SSB 1004 should also be defeated. The death penalty is applied unequally across a number of factors, but mostly by race and ability to acquire good legal counsel. The death penalty does not deter acts of passion decided in seconds. which most capital offenses are. The death penalty created an absolute finality when hundreds of people have been wrongly convicted and released from prison. The death penalty is expensive and eats resources better spent to more equally dispense justice. Iowans oppose the death penalty and do not need it for a better justice system. Vote NO on SSB 1004.
01-14-2021
Maureen White []
Stop consideration of SSB 1004. NO, I do not want Iowa to kill anyone on behalf of the state's citizens. Do not waste time on a proposal that isn't a deterrent to murder, is inhumane, is costly, and disproportionately impacts persons of color, lowincome people, those with limited education or mental disabilities, persons with mental illness and those without effective legal representation. You've seen the data regarding innocent persons who are wrongly convicted, sentenced to death and executed. The system is not foolproof. Instead of wasting time discussing reasons to kill people, please do your job to help Iowans without health care, those who have been or may be evicted from their homes, those who are hungry, who are unable to find work, those who are required to go to work even when sick for fear of losing pay, those living with abuse or discrimination the list goes on.
01-14-2021
Madi Rummel []
Not only is the death penalty not something this state needs to be focused on right now (when there are an infinite number of more pressing matters), it is not something this state needs to be focused on at all. You cant be prolife and support the forced death of a human being.
01-14-2021
Michelle Townsend []
The death penalty is nothing other than premeditated murder. A most heinous crime when committed by a citizen does not suddenly become moral and just when carried out by the state. SSB 1004, if enacted, would not offer the redress the bills sponsors purport to seek. Capital punishment will not restore victims to their families. It will not deter others from committing murder or other violent crimes. It will not make Iowa safer. Capital punishment will cost Iowans exponentially, though. It will cost us financially, through the creation of the infrastructure necessary for the state to take lives even infrequently; and it will cost us morally, in that each statesanctioned killing erodes our collective humanity. Please hear your constituency that has and will continue to oppose the reinstatement of capital punishment in Iowa. The death penalty has had no place here for decades. It has no place in Iowa now or in the future.
01-14-2021
Jenn Anderson []
The death penalty provides no measure of rehabilitative justice only retaliatory. It has proven to provide no positive outcomes in reducing crime rates or violent offenses. Also, it has been proven more costly than life in prison. The fact that this is the first bill to head to subcommittee is rather abhorrent for the so called pro life majority that is currently seated in the Iowa legislature. Please do not move this bill out of the subcommittee.
01-14-2021
Jennifer Theis [Citizen]
Death is too final. It can never be undone. Depriving someone of freedom is enough. The sickest people wont be deterred by this law. A law like this is only for our own satisfaction.
01-14-2021
Ann Lane []
Reinstating the death penalty is unjust, immoral, and does nothing to improve the safety of anyone's life. I urge you to vote no to bill SSB 1004.
01-14-2021
Pat Berrie []
The death penalty is barbaric, violent, immoral and not pro life. Please vote NO in bringing back the death penalty. Instead use your time, talent and Iowa tax payer money to invest in Iowans in positive ways such as mental health, health care, public education and racial and economic justice.
01-14-2021
Maria Kummer []
The death penalty is not the answer to bringing justice to victims or preventing terrible crimes. Most countries around the world do not even have a death penalty because it is not a deterrent, does not encourage better behavior in society and is not financially cost effective due to decades in custody on death row. Equal Justice Initiative, The Innocent Project and historical records have shown us that hundreds of people have been wrongfully convicted and sometimes executed. Iowa should be a champion for innovation and problem solving and think of alternatives to this type of inhumane punishment. Thank you for the opportunity to share my prolife view.
01-14-2021
Pamela Mohr []
I am a lifelong Iowan. I do not support the death penalty and do not want it in our state. We are in the middle of a global pandemic. I respectfully ask that our elected representatives focus their time and effort on policy and issues that will impact and support our neighbors and community members rather than focus on such a divisive and immoral issue. I refer you to information about the death penalty on the Equal Justice Initiative's website: https://eji.org/issues/deathpenalty/ "For every nine people executed, one person on death row has been exonerated." "The death penalty in America is a flawed, expensive policy, defined by bias and error. It targets the most vulnerable people in our society and corrupts the integrity of our criminal justice system. From police officers to family members of murder victims, Americans are recognizing that the death penalty does not make us safer."
01-14-2021
Holly Wist []
We don't need the death penalty for Iowa. I don't support this bill.
01-14-2021
Julie Ehresmann []
Do not reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. It is barbaric. Why not cut limbs off for stealing then? Because it isnt done is civilized countries. We are better than that.
01-14-2021
Melissa Lauer []
No just, moral society can perpetuate the death penalty it is fundamentally inhumane, unequally enforced: unjustifiably flawed in its application. Please do not allow this bill to proceed any further.
01-14-2021
Katie Goff []
Please vote no on SSB 1004. The death penalty does not belong in our country nor in our state. It is a cruel and barbaric punishment that does not deter anyone from committing crimes. If you are pro life than you should vote no to this bill. There have been many instances of people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes who have faced the death penalty. This does not belong here. Please vote no on SSB 1004
01-14-2021
Allyn Glenn-Angell []
I oppose reinstating the death penalty. It is expensive, immoral, and ineffective as a deterrent to crime.
01-14-2021
Thomas Tully [Johnston Martineau, LLP]
There is no conclusive evidence that the death penalty is a deterrence and given that our criminal justice system is not perfect with approximately 20% of those convicted/incarcerated are later found to be innocent and even those like 14 year old CHILD George Stinney Jr that was executed back in 1944 and later found to be innocent, the practice still continues to this day! Our Justice system MUST do everything to protect the innocent and we should rather have 100 criminals set free before we convist ONE innocent person, period!
01-14-2021
Melanie Muller []
Please vote no on this bill. Too many wrongfully convicted people have been sentenced to death. Studies show that death penalty cases cost more. Studies also show that the death penalty being in effect in a state does not deter crimes at that level. The government should never have a say in who lives or who dies.
01-14-2021
Jennifer Gardner []
Please oppose this bill. The death penalty isn't a deterrent, and often times is unjust towards people of color. The risk of potentially putting to death one innocent person is too great.
01-14-2021
Laura Hessburg [Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence]
Senators Garrett, Bisignano, and Schultz:The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) opposes SSB 1004 and urges you not to advance this bill. ICADV represents 22 crime victim service provider agencies across Iowa and the collective experience of agency staff who dedicate their lives to supporting victims of violent crime, specifically survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Our providers routinely witness the pain and suffering of crime victims, as well as their stunning resilience in surviving repeated violent acts (often over the course of months and years), inflicted on their minds and bodies by people they know and care about. Still, we oppose the death penalty. The government should not kill a human being as retribution or punishment, regardless of the crime. We do not condone, excuse, or defend the actions of those who murder but we speak from experience in saying committing violence does not deter violence or end the trauma of those harmed. We know this because some victims of gender violence are abused to the point where they commit crimes themselves, and even harm or kill others. Again, we are not excusing murder and most survivors do not commit any criminal acts. But inflicting violence to prevent violence is ineffective, inhumane, and does not further the ideals of justice. Iowa does not need the death penalty to prove that killing is wrong or to protect public safety. People convicted of murder in Iowa spend their lives in prison. Importantly, the price of getting it wrong is too high and already happens too often. The death penalty would perpetuate inequality in our justice system by disproportionately impacting people of color who are more likely to be given death sentences than their white counterparts who commit the same crimes. ICADV urges you to reject this bill. We condemn violence and cannot support the death penalty as an exception to the violence we work to end.
Attachment
01-14-2021
Fran Hatfield []
I urge you do NOT reinstate the death penalty. Studies have shown that it does not deter criminal behavior, is disproportionate to people of color, and sadly, some innocent people have been executed.
01-14-2021
Charly Heber-Spates []
Please do not reinstate the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Rachel Dennis []
I am opposed to the death penalty and think introducing SSB1004 is a waste of taxpayers time and money. Please do not bother to spend anymore time on a decision that has been upheld since 1965.
01-14-2021
Todd Klapatauskas []
Please do not pass SSB 1004! I implore you to shut down any attempt to thrust Iowa back into the dark ages regarding the death penalty. The record is clear that the death penalty system this country is applied in an unfair manner against people, largely dependent on how much money they have, the skill of their attorneys, race of the victim and where the crime took place. People of color are far more likely to be executed than white people, especially if the victim is white.The death penalty is a waste of taxpayer money. Research shows that the vast majority of law enforcement professionals surveyed agree that capital punishment does not deter violent crime; a survey of police chiefs nationwide found they rank the death penalty lowest among ways to reduce violent crime. Ironically and tragically, the FBI has found the states with the death penalty have the highest murder rates.Innocent people are too often sentenced to death. Since 1973, over 156 people have been released from death rows in 26 states because of innocence. Nationally, at least one person is exonerated for every 10 that are executed. The recent U.S. Supreme Court case involving Curtis Flowers is an updated example that regrettably highlights the dangers, risks, fallacies and inadequacies of the death penalty system in this country.Please, please, please do not allow the death penalty to rear its head in Iowa. Thank you.Todd Klapatauskas
01-14-2021
Dan Padley []
Dear committee, I ask you to oppose SSB 1004. As horrible as some crimes are, state sanctioned murder does not equate to justice for any parties involved. It only keeps the cycle of harm going. We should move aim to move forward with harm reduction therapies. Thank you for your time, Dan Padley
01-14-2021
Harold Walehwa []
Please vote NO on this bill.
01-14-2021
Marty Ryan [Iowans Against the Death Penalty]
For all the comments against this bill listed on this site, and for all those new arguments yet to come, Iowans Against the Death Penalty opposes Senate Study Bill 1004.
01-14-2021
Katherine Kunau []
Capital punishment is barbaric, does not do anything to decrease crime, and disproportionately affects inmates of color at a much higher rates than white inmates. A statistically significant amount of death row inmates have been found innocent of their crimes, making the likelihood of killing an innocent person horrifyingly probably. It should not be the role of the state to kill people.
01-14-2021
Kara Gravert []
My fellow Iowans have already made it really clear: The death penalty is not concerned with the prevention of crime. It is concerned with the management of the dispossessed and disenfranchised. It is costly and does not contribute to safer and healthier Iowa communities. Data shows that the death penalty in America remains tied to the nations racial discrimination.
01-14-2021
Marissa Dimaranan []
Iowa should not reinstate the death penalty. Issues surrounding its usage are vastly documented. It does nothing but continue the cycle of violence, its costly, and is impossible to apply fairly 100% of time. If any single person is wrongly put to death, the entire system has failed. Justice can be served without the death penalty. There can be zero room for mistakes when making decisions to put somebody to death. Furthermore, there is a documented racial prejudice in the application of the death penalty. It is sought out disproportionately against people of color. Prosecutorial discretion, ineffective counsel, jury selection and a myriad of other factors contribute to patterns of discrimination at all levels of the process that lead to a penalty of death. There are no good reasons to reinstate this violent, archaic punishment and mountains of evidence that illustrate the numerous reasons it is harmful.
01-14-2021
Ben Lynch [Ben Lynch Law]
The death penalty is immoral, irreversible, and an ineffective deterrent. It has no place in a civilized society.
01-14-2021
Serena Qamhieh []
I oppose the death penalty because its immoral and it disproportionately impacts non white people.
01-14-2021
Danielle Vandehaar []
Capital punishment is a costly, and ineffective method of trying to enforce law. There are many documented instances of people who had been on death row but were vindicated. The threat of capital punishment does not deter criminals. The costs of creating a system for capital punishment would be better used providing preventative measures, such as mental health care availability and treatment for survivors.
01-14-2021
Loulwa Soweid []
The death penalty is not justice. I urge you to vote NO to SSB 1004.
01-14-2021
Gloria Hartley []
I echo the many comments already that object to the death penalty. It should not be reinstated. Time and money and efforts should instead focus on initiatives to prevent violence.
01-14-2021
Kevin Lam []
It is reprehensible that the reintroduction of the death penalty is even being entertained in Iowa. Capital punishment is both immoral and ineffective. I urge all senators to vote no.
01-14-2021
Kay Kopatich [Chaplain in the Iowa Department of Corrections, retired]
Vote no on the Death Penalty bill SSB 1004. As a retired DOC Chaplain I know the death penalty is a nightmare law that is expensive and doesn't work. Millions of dollars are spent setting up the system and years are lost trying to administer this erroneous law. It's well established that it is NOT a deterrent, doesn't save lives, nor prevent crime. There are many reasons against the death penalty and highest among these is that this law is not administered equally in our culture. We don't need the death penalty in Iowa because we have life in prison without parole. Use that money to rehabilitate offenders. It is immoral and dangerous for the state to have the power o decide who lives and who dies. Thank You, Chanplain Kay Kopatich, retired.
01-14-2021
Barbara Zilles [University of Iowa]
Research has shown that the death penalty does nothing to decrease crime, especially violent crime. And it costs taxpayers much more than imprisonment (even for life). I strongly urge you not to bring forth this bill. Thank you! Barbara
01-14-2021
Leslie Sand []
My husband Kevin and I oppose the death penalty, for many reasons.1) It has been shown NOT to be a deterrent to crime.2) The cost of using the death penalty is huge. As conservatives, please consider that Iowa's current life in prison is much more costeffective.3) The government, that means you, should not be killing people as retribution or punishment. Innocent people have been sentenced to death. I urge you to read Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy.4) We believe the death penalty is immoral.
01-14-2021
Brian Carter [United Methodist]
Senators Garrett, Bisignano and Schultz, I am writing you on behalf of the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. We are definitely against any reestablishment of the death penalty in the state of Iowa. We believe in the grace of God and the possible redemption of people from all acts of sin even capital murder. I served as pastor of Trinity United Methodist in Des Moines Iowa from 1982 through 1991. During that time we had the Barnes family move to our neighborhood and begin attending our church. They had a 9 year old daughter Carolyn Barnes active in our Sunday School. One night they reported her missing, and it turned out that she was kidnapped, molested, and then thrown out of a car in Altoona causing her death. The church and I spent many months consoling and counseling with the family before and after they caught the man responsible for the crimes and he was sentence to prison without parole. I moved on to another church, and the Barnes moved to Kansas City. Two years later they called me to thank the church and I for our support, and to say they were active in another church and had found it in their hearts to truly forgive the man who had killed Carolyn. Some years later I heard that he had died in prison. We all felt that this was a better outcome than seeing him put to death. It gave the family time and opportunity to heal and forgive. The offender had time to consider what he had done and make his pea ce with God, and he remained removed fromsociety so he could not offend again. Many who are convicted of capital murder are later found to be innocent. The death penalty does not allow mistakes in convictions to be corrected.Taking of life by the state cheapens the value of life. I urge you to defeat this latest attempt to cheapen life and move toward revenge as a state action, insgead of reform and restoration of life and reationships.
01-14-2021
Andrew Hokanson []
The death penalty is immoral. It has no place in our state. It is shameful this is even being considered.
01-14-2021
Isabella Cook []
I oppose SSB 1004. A white supremacist colonial state, or any extension of such, has no right to decide who lives or dies, especially when BIPOC Iowans are targeted and incarcerated at higher rates than White Iowans. SSB 1004 is statesanctioned murder at the discretion of those in power and should not be allowed to pass.
01-14-2021
Lauren McDowell []
The death penalty affects people of color at a much higher rate than white people. It is unacceptable for the state of Iowa to consider instituting this racist bill.
01-14-2021
Hailey Dixon []
The death penalty is disgusting and immoral. I urge you not to let this bill progress. I am confused as to how pro life reps would be pro death penalty. Vote no!
01-14-2021
Rebecca Baird []
As a Christian, I urge you to vote No on this bill. The death penalty it is fundamentally inhumane, unequally enforced: unjustifiably flawed in its application, and it has failed to make society safer. Please vote NO.
01-14-2021
William Wolfe []
The death penalty should not be brought to Iowa. It is morally wrong, it is costly, it is inhumane, and it is permanent.
01-14-2021
Megan Anderson []
Please oppose this bill. There are too many times where the wrong person is convicted and this is an irreversible punishment.
01-14-2021
Molly Belvo []
Please do not bring back the death penalty. It has been proven to do nothing to deter people from committing crimes and it is cruel and unusual. Even the worst criminals deserve a chance to become better people which they can do with a life sentence with no chance of parol.
01-14-2021
Nicole Tygart []
The death penalty should absolutely NOT be reinstated in Iowa. This takes away an innocent persons ability one day walk free, but also lets a guilty person off easy, who should spend the rest of their days behind bars. Its inhumane and barbaric to end a potentially innocent persons life.
01-14-2021
Jude Cigrand []
As a life long resident of Iowa, I adamantly oppose reinstating the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Nicholas Rice []
The death penalty is cruel, inhumane, and discriminatory. This punishment is medieval and should not even be discussed in regards to Iowa legislature.
01-14-2021
Robyn Bles [Wakonda Christian Church]
The death penalty is society succumbing to the same level of dehumanizing violence were attempting to punish and prevent. It only perpetuates violence and is a tool used primarily against people of color. We are better than this behavior.
01-14-2021
Catherine Kamerick []
Every American, nay human has the right to life, whether they are a criminal or not. Reinstating the death penalty is ethically wrong and commits the same crime that it supposedly is meant to deter. It is expensive and propels us backwards from a modern state to an archaic one ruled by fear and the idea that people do not have a right to live. If the idea of criminals having a right to life like every other human is not enough, then consider the cases where the justice system has failed, as it has in the past. There will always be the potential of ending an innocent person's life.
01-14-2021
Paula Connors []
Please vote NO on SSB 1004. Capital punishment is inhumane. I've always been proud to be from a state that doesn't have a death penalty. Please keep it that way.
01-14-2021
Kara Vorwald []
This is a pro life issue! Death penalty is in humane and does not provide justice. This act must be abolished. It costs the state more to intact someones execution than it is for life imprisonments. Please do not reinstate this barbaric practice.
01-14-2021
Bridget Carberry Montgomery []
I urge you not reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. Please focus on making Iowa better, not on a draconian practice such as the death penalty.
01-14-2021
Rob Faux []
Of all of the things that require the attention of our legislature this is NOT one of them. The prominence of a nonstarter bill at the frontend of the session calls into question the priorities being set for this legislative session. One possibility is that you are trying to distract us from other, more strongly considered legislation that we need to be looking at by putting a bill that attempts to reinstitute an antiquated, unworkable, expensive system that shows no effectiveness for the stated goals and runs the risk of terminating the life of a person who is not guilty.Another thought is that the legislature is out of touch with what Iowans want and need. If we believe that capital crimes are common in the state and in need of a response, then we should be looking for solutions to prevent them rather than provide retribution for them. If they are not all that common, then why are we pushing this priority in the first place?This meeting should be short and it should terminate further discussion on this bill or any other like it.
01-14-2021
Luke Elzinga []
The death penalty is an immoral practice. Iowa should not be considering reinstating capital punishment. It's not an effective deterrent. We need a justice system built on rehabilitation, not revenge.
01-14-2021
Logun Buckley []
Iowa does not want the death penalty. It is cruel and evil. Even Governor Reynolds has come out against it. Vote against this measure which will stain our state. This is so wrong. Do not vote in favor of this inhumane and unjust practice that needs outlawed in the entire US.
01-14-2021
Jadyn Lovelady []
The death penalty is the pinnacle of our society deciding to use our justice system to punish and hide instead of rehabilitating. There is little deterrence to criminals with knowledge of the death penalty. The only outcome here is to become a tyrannical government that is conceding to their inefficacy.
01-14-2021
Melissa Clow []
The fact that this is the first bill of the year, a pandemic year, when the good people of this state desperately need hope and assistance is an embarassment. The hipocracy of the prolife right pushing forward capital punishment is astounding. While, no one can argue that the violent acts noted are reprehensible, Capital punishment violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process of law and of equal protection of the law. It is unethical and inconstant with the fundamental values of our democratic system. Please reevaluate your priorities and provide much needed assistance to families and businesses, mantate masks to truly protect the vulnerable throughout the state, develop an efficient vaccine distribution program and consider environmental and water laws that will aid our farmers with a promise to slow down the devastating effects of climate change.
01-14-2021
Tom Chapman [Iowa Catholic Conference]
A statement from the four Catholic bishops of Iowa in opposition to the restoration of the death penalty:We speak in opposition to the use of the death penalty in any form and to its possible reinstatement in Iowa.Marking the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis said the death penalty is, in itself, contrary to the Gospel, because a decision is voluntarily made to suppress a human life, which is always sacred in the eyes of the Creator and of whom, in the last analysis, only God can be the true judge and guarantor.It is a duty of the state to punish offenders and defend the common good. "More effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2267). For example, in Iowa, a conviction of firstdegree murder means life in prison without parole.In addition, the application of the death penalty has been deeply flawed in our country: More than 160 persons have been found innocent while on death row. It is likely that innocent persons have been executed. There is racial bias. More than threefourths of death row defendants have been executed for killing white victims, even though AfricanAmericans make up about half of all homicide victims. The use of the death penalty is a long and costly process, more expensive than life without parole.We oppose reinstatement of the death penalty in order to send the message that the cycle of violence can be broken without taking life. We ask the people of Iowa, and especially members of the Catholic Church, to join us in opposing capital punishment out of respect for our common human dignity and in light of the teachings of Jesus about vengeance.
01-14-2021
Nathan Mundy [Mundy Law Office, P.C.]
Should a democratic state ever be permitted to kill its citizens? If the people are the ultimate source of authority in a democracy, should the government be allowed to eliminate its citizens, who are supposed to be a superior power? Not only is the death penalty wrong, as the advent of DNA testing has begun to exonerate hundreds across the country, Iowa doesn't want to be among those states that imposes the death penalty against its own citizens. Why would we ever sanction and condone state violence?
01-14-2021
Natalie Merrill [n/a]
There is no need to move backward as a society in our state. Let's focus efforts on making sure we are taking care of mental health, which should serve as a proactive way to prevent these crimes, versus an ineffective deterrent.
01-14-2021
Clarissa Dietz []
I am against this bill. The chances of killing an innocent person, as has happened time and time again in states with the death penalty, are far too high. There are too many historical examples of the state killing a convicted person, only for forensic evidence to later prove them innocent. It has always been a point of pride for me that we know better than states who do have the death penalty. We should continue to set a good example for them, not stoop to their level of barbarism, cruelty, and misguided lust for revenge.
01-14-2021
Charmayne McMurray []
I thought Republicans were the party of prolife. That being said, thousands have died from Covid in Iowa, partly due to lack of leadership. So I think that there are more important things that need to be addressed first.
01-14-2021
Shari Hawk []
I write asking you to oppose SSB 1004. Iowa doesn't need to be barbaric enough to kill people. Not only does Iowa have a racist track record, we also want to enhance the racial inequality in our state by inevitably killing more persons of color too?