Gov. Terry Branstad said he supports the death penalty under certain circumstances, but it’s unlikely he’ll push for its reinstatement in Iowa.
“My position has been consistently, for the last 20 or 30 years, that if an individual is guilty of a crime such as first-degree rape or kidnapping and then murders the victim, so two Class A felonies … that is the limited instance when I think the death penalty could be appropriate,” he said during a Statehouse news conference Monday.
“I also recognize the political realities, and under the present makeup of the General Assembly, that’s not likely to happen,” he said.
Iowa repealed the death penalty in 1965. Some lawmakers have begun calling for its reinstatement after hunters discovered the bodies of 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and her cousin, 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey, in a wooded area in rural Bremer County. The girls had been missing since this summer.