State Sen. Daryl Beall has pledged to vigorously oppose any effort to reinstate the death penalty.
''We already have the death penalty,'' the Fort Dodge Democrat said. ''It's called the life sentence. Criminals convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment die in prison.''
According to Beall, disproportionate numbers of minorities and poor people are sentenced to death in states that have capital punishment.
''I don't think capital punishment is an Iowa value,'' he said. ''Iowans abolished it in 1965 and it should remain in Iowa's past.''
The other state senator who represents Webster County, Republican Jerry Behn, of Boone, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the death penalty bill.