Montana Bill to Abolish the Death Penalty Fails in House by a Single Vote

A bill to abolish the death penalty in Montana failed by a singe vote on Monday. The Montana House of Representatives deadlocked, voting 50 in favor and 50 opposed. It appears this will be the final vote on this issue for the 2015 legislature although a similar bill will likely be sponsored in the 2017 term. You can read the Billings Gazette’s article here.

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Legislative Effort Renewed to End the Death Penalty in Montana

Montana Representative Doc Moore has sponsored legislation this legislative term to abolish the death penalty. Currently, 32 states, including Montana, allow for the death penalty in homicide cases when they meet certain requirements. A movement is growing within the states to abolish the death penalty due to the advent of Innocence Projects, such as the Montana Innocence Project, which have exonerated wrongfully accused individuals  and drawn attention to the issue, as well as the exorbitant cost of pursuing the death penalty. You can read the Great Falls Tribune article on Rep. Doc Moore’s bill here.

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State District Court Judge Dirk Sandefur will run for Montana Supreme Court Justice Patricia O. Cotter’s seat on the Supreme Court

Montana District Court Judge Dirk Sandefur, of Great Falls, Montana, intends to run for Justice Patricia O. Cotter’s seat on the Montana Supreme Court. According to the Great Falls Tribune, Justice Cotter is currently serving her second term and will not run for a third term. You can read the Tribune’s article here.

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Plan in Place to Deputize Fish & Game Wardens for DUI Investigations in Gallatin County

According to the Bozeman Chronicle, an agreement has been reached for the Gallatin County Sheriff’s to deputize Fish and Game Wardens to handle DUI cases. Such agreements have been in place in Madison and Lewis and Clark counties. If approved by the Gallatin County Commissioners and Fish, Wildlife & Parks, wardens will be allowed to issue citations for DUIs in the course of their normal duties. You can read the Bozeman Chronicle’s article here.

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Five Bozeman Residents Sue to Overturn Ordinance Protecting Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons from Discrimination

Last July, the Bozeman City Commission voted unanimously to pass a non-discrimination ordinance protecting gay, bisexual and transgender people from being discriminated in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. Now, five Bozeman residents have filed suit challenging the ordinance arguing, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, that state law occupies the entire field governing discrimination and therefore the local ordinance is invalid. You can read the Bozeman Daily Chronicle article here.

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