Due to the unique and irreversible nature of ending a person’s life, death penalty statutes must satisfy complex legal requirements in order to remain constitutional.
Do Wyoming’s death penalty laws meet these requirements?
The ACLU of Wyoming believes that the state’s death penalty laws violate both the United States and Wyoming Constitutions and is asking the state’s legislators to repeal the capital punishment in the state during the legislature’s budget session.
“Due to the grave nature of the punishment, American courts have always applied a high degree of scrutiny to laws that permit the government to take a life,” said Sabrina King, the ACLU of Wyoming’s director of campaigns. “As more information becomes available about the arbitrary and discriminatory manner in which these laws are applied — and as societal standards regarding the death penalty continue to evolve — it becomes increasingly difficult for capital punishment laws to avoid violating the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.”
A copy of the letter that the ACLU of Wyoming will be providing to all state legislators, which highlights details the unconstitutionality of Wyoming’s death penalty laws, can be found here.
About the ACLU of Wyoming
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Wyoming is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and South Dakota. The team in Wyoming is supported by staff in those states.
The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBT communities. The ACLU of Wyoming carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of Wyoming.