PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota legislative panel has decided the state should keep the death penalty.
After hearing from relatives of two murder victims, the House State Affairs Committee voted 7-6 to reject a measure that would have repealed the death penalty.
The measure would have banned the death penalty in future criminal cases, but it sought to leave in place the death sentences of three convicted murderers currently on South Dakota's death row. Opponents say the bill's language might have allowed those three convicts to avoid being executed.
Supporters of the death penalty argued it is an appropriate penalty for the most vile crimes and deters others from committing murder.
Opponents of the death penalty contend it does not deter others from committing horrible crimes, save money or improve public safety.