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Legislators Asking for Return of Death Penalty in Massachusetts

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Some Massachusetts lawmakers, pointing to the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing, are calling for a limited reinstatement of a state death penalty.

The House was debating an amendment Tuesday to the state budget that would allow the death penalty in certain cases. Those include killing law enforcement officers and would include rigid safeguards to prevent an innocent person from being executed.

House leaders are offering a revised amendment calling for further study of the death penalty.

The lead sponsor, Democratic Rep. James Miceli, emphasized that the amendment was filed several days before the April 15 bombing. But he said the attack shows the measure is now more important than ever.

The surviving suspect in the Marathon attack, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, could face the federal death penalty.

Massachusetts abolished the death penalty in 1984.

Update 3:53 pm - The House voted 119-38 Tuesday in favor of a substitute amendment to send the proposal to a study committee. The procedural move meant that lawmakers weren’t required to take an up or down vote on the death penalty. More here.

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