Less than a week after the bodies of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins were found by hunters, Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson says it’s time to take action.
“There are roughly 1,500-2,000 bills each year in the legislature and we have the ability to filter through them and pick out the ones we need to pick up. I don’t believe that this is a distraction,” said Sorenson.
The death penalty was abolished in Iowa in 1965, but the Republican lawmaker is proposing a bill that would reinstate it.
Opponents and even Governor Terry Branstad say it is legislation that is unlikely to pass given the current political landscape.
Sorenson believes the death penalty would deter those guilty of rape or kidnapping from killing their victims.
Several opponents of the death penalty say that has never been proven, and executing convicted criminals can cost tax payers as much as $2 million dollars.
Sorenson, a Republican, may have an uphill battle working to gather enough support from a Democratic controlled senate.
Iowa State Senator Matt McCoy says legislators from both sides need to be more focused on coming across party lines to pass bills relating to education and the economy. He believes the death penalty is a divisive issue and now isn’t the time to debate it.
“I think we shouldn’t pass legislation in the heat of the moment. Just like it’s not good to respond to an argument in the heat of the moment, it’s often not good to respond with legislation for a specific incident,” McCoy told Channel 13 News.