On November 15, 2005, Massachusetts legislators voted 100-53 against legislation reinstating the death penalty. Massachusetts first abolished capital punishment in 1947. The bill was proposed in April by Governor Mitt Romney, who asserted that the bill contained "foolproof" provisions to prevent innocent people from being executed because it would only be given in first-degree murder cases which relied on "conclusive scientific evidence" such as DNA or fingerprints. Massachusetts is one of the few US states without the death penalty.
Learn more about the legal status of the death penalty in the US from the JURIST news archive.