[Deathpenalty]death penalty news --- MICHIGAN
j_sommer at gmx.net
Thu Jul 8 22:35:10 CDT 2004
death penalty news
July 8, 2004
Death penalty proposal fails to get on November ballot
An initiative to place the death penalty issue before Michigan voters
failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot,
The proposal would have changed the state constitution to allow the death
penalty in cases where a law enforcement or corrections officer has been
killed. But petition supporters could not get the required 317,757 valid
signatures needed before a Monday deadline for the Nov. 2 ballot.
"We're not even close," said James Bowens, one of the backers of the
petition. "That's why we didn't turn anything in."
Bowens championed the death penalty proposal since his son, Detroit police
officer Matthew Bowens was killed Feb. 16 during a traffic stop. Matthew's
partner, Jennifer Fettig was also killed in the incident.
Eric Marshall, 23, is charged with the shooting deaths. He is awaiting
trial and faces mandatory life in prison if convicted.
Other recent efforts to end Michigan's 158-year ban on the death penalty
have also failed.
State Rep. Larry Julian, R-Lennon, earlier this year introduced a
resolution that would have placed the death penalty issue before voters,
but it fell short of the required two-thirds majority.
Backers of the death penalty proposal are now weighing their options for
putting the issue on the 2006 ballot, Bowens said.
"I think the support's out there," James Tignanelli, president of the
Police Officers Association of Michigan told The Detroit News for a story
published Thursday. "It just got going a little late this time."
Only two groups filed signatures for petitions to amend the state
constitution, said Secretary of State spokeswoman Kelly Chesney. The
include a proposal to require voter consent before any expansion of
gambling and an initiative to ban gay marriage.
(source: AP / Detroit Free Press)
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