[JURIST] The Democratic-controlled Montana Senate [official website] voted 27-21 Friday to give second-reading approval to a bill [text, PDF; procedural history] that would eliminate the death penalty [JURIST news archive] in Montana. Third reading is slated for February 24 before the measure goes to the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives [official website].
Eleven US states have recently suspended the death penalty pending review of the manner in which the death penalty is administered. In early-February, Tennessee governor suspended executions [JURIST report] pending procedural review. In January a North Carolina state judge issued an injunction [JURIST report] blocking executions there until Governor Mike Easley issues new procedures to execute capital defendants without the presence of doctors. Capital punishment has also been suspended in Florida, California, and New Jersey [JURIST reports], Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, and South Dakota. AP has more.