NEW VOICES: Former Supporter Will Oppose Any Measure to Restore Minnesota Death Penalty

Minnesota Senator Tom Neuville, the leading Republican committee member on the state's Senate Judiciary Committee, says he will oppose Governor Tim Pawlenty's efforts to reinstate death penalty. Neuville's basic opposition is moral: "If we solve violence by becoming violent ourselves, we become diminished." Neuville, a former death penalty supporter whose reexamination of his pro-life beliefs led him to change his mind on the issue, feels that many of his colleagues share his concerns. "Life is a gift from God. It isn't up to us to take it away," Neuville said. "Whether you take an innocent life of a baby, or of a person who has committed a heinous act, it is still an act at our hands, and it makes us a less caring and less sensitive society." Minnesota abolished the death penalty in 1911.(Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 7, 2003). See New Voices.