“I think for anybody that goes after our public safety officials, something like this should be in place. I would hope it would be a deterrent,” Hill said.
Representative Jerry Parisella, a Beverly Democrat, called the death penalty “an emotional issue and one I’ve been struggling with for quite a while. I personally don’t want to make a decision based on one particular event.”
Parisella said he leans against the death penalty due to serious concerns about the potential for executing an innocent person.
Representative Theodore C. Speliotis, a Danvers Democrat, said he has always opposed capital punishment, citing the same concern.
“You could never guarantee the government is right,” he said.
State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, a Newburyport Democrat who also represents Haverhill and a wide swath of the Merrimack Valley, opposes restoring the death penalty in Massachusetts, based primarily on the “potential for error in the criminal justice system.”
Regarding the recent attack, she said: “I want justice and I want there to be a strong prosecution. But to me that is not connected to the state policy.”
Representative Paul Brodeur, a Melrose Democrat, also said the terrorist attack has not altered his opposition to capital punishment. “The history of the death penalty shows that it is unequally applied, that it depends on your station in life,” he said, also citing the potential for executions of innocent people.
Representative Diana DiZoglio, a Methuen Democrat, said by e-mail that she has long opposed the death penalty, but would be willing to look at the pending bill “as long as it has a hearing where I can hear all sides of the issue and language can be vetted through the legislative process.”
John Laidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.