20 February 2019 :
HB 145 to repeal the death penalty failed in the Senate on Thursday after drawing far more support from state lawmakers than ever before. The 18-12 vote in the state Senate ended a fairly long run for a bill that failed early each of the past 5 legislative sessions. This year, concern about the death penalty’s costs amid tight state budgets won over new repeal supporters. The bill passed the House 36-21. Wyoming faces a tight fiscal outlook because of a drop in revenue from the state’s coal, oil and natural gas industries. Repeal advocates pointed to the high cost of death-penalty cases for the state Public Defender’s Office, which according to the bill’s fiscal note would save about $750,000 a year by not having to take additional required measures to defend people facing the death penalty. Wyoming currently has no convicts facing the death penalty since a federal judge in 2014 threw out a death sentence for murderer Dale Wayne Eaton, who spent 10 years on death row. Wyoming’s only execution since the U.S. reinstated capital punishment was in 1992.