Is It Time For Montana To Get Rid Of The Death Penalty?
Considered the ultimate punishment, the Death Penalty has been around in Montana since the beginning of the state, in fact, "hanging" was the method of execution in the state up until 1995, however according to Death Penalty Info, the last hanging happened back in 1943
However, it's been a long time since someone on Montana's Death Row has actually been put to death, the last time was back in 2006.
Since 1976, there have only been three Montanans put to death. This, of course, is a
far cry from the "old days".
In the early days of the area, people were put to death on a regular basis, so much so that there is debate over the famous "3-7-77" and what it means. Many historians will tell you that the famous numbers represent the dimensions of a grave. 3 feet wide, 7 feet deep, and 77 inches long.
While several residents of the state are strong supporters of the Death Penalty, many Montanans feel like the practice is outdated and it's time for it to go. It's certainly been discussed and actually passed the state senate back in 2009 and 2011, however, it would be voted down by the State House Judiciary Committee on both occasions.
So how many inmates does Montana currently have on Death Row? Two. Ronald Smith and William Gollehon.
Smith has been on Death Row since 1983, and Gollehon since 1992. Ronald Smith was convicted of killing two men while hitchhiking. He was granted a stay of execution by a judge. William Gollehon was sentenced to over 100 years in prison for the murder of a Billings woman and then was put on Death Row after he and another inmate killed a fellow prisoner with a baseball bat back in 1990.
Many will argue that if you're not going to use the punishment, there's no reason for it, while others will say that the idea of something spending decades on Death Row is ridiculous and costs the state additional money.
What do you think? Do you think Montana should keep the Death Penalty or get rid of it? Let us know by sending us a message on our station app.