Iowa senator plans to introduce death penalty legislation

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The Iowa legislature may revisit the issue of the death penalty when it reconvenes in January.

The death penalty was repealed in Iowa in 1965.

Goveror Terry Branstad favors the death penalty under certain circumstances. 

At his weekly news conference held Monday, December 10, 2012, Branstad said he thinks the death penalty is appropriate in cases where a victim is killed to prevent reporting of the crime.

“They figure if they kill the victim they improve their chances of getting by with the crime so that is the limited instance when I believe the death penalty could be appropriate,” Branstad said.

“I also recognize the political realities of the General Assembly and that’s not likely to happen,” he continued.

The death penalty has been revisited by some Iowa legislators after the bodies of two Iowa girls were found in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area. 

Republican state senator Kent Sorenson of Milo said people who commit crimes like kidnapping and murder of a child would not do it in Iowa if the state had the death penalty.   Sorenson planned to introduce legislation in January that would reinstate the death penalty in Iowa.

The group Iowans Against the Death Penalty said it will continue to support a life-in-prison sentence for people convicted of first-degree murder.