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Protesters Hold Vigil Outside Prison

October 30, 2012, 10:12 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Protesters Hold Vigil Outside Prison

Even though it was a heinous crime and many feel justice is being served, there are still those against the death penalty.

Those who oppose capital punishment are gathered on the front lawn of the state pen to show their disapproval of the death penalty.

There are three major groups participating in Tuesday night’s protest Pax Christie, the Peace and Justice Center and South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Some of the protesters, like Mark Sanderson who has been involved in this movement for over 20 years, believe the death penalty is outdated.

"I don't know when it all began, but it just seemed to me that we have moved gradually from a position of an eye for an eye in this society to one of restorative justice. One where we have alternative justice so we don't have to that Hammurabi code where we do an eye for an eye," Sanderson said.

“The fact that we sentence to death and execute innocent people, which has happened before. The fact that the death penalty costs more than life without parole. The fact that it doesn't work as a deterrent. And of course the fact that it doesn't respect life in the way we believe all government institutions should,” South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty founder Travis Schulze said.

The protesters have been holding prayer vigils and discussing why they believe the death penalty is wrong throughout the night.

The groups hope to raise awareness to hopefully one day end the death penalty for the state of South Dakota.

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