Some Massachusetts legislators shocked by the brutal beating of 7-year-old Nathaniel Turner allegedly at the hands of his father are pushing anew for the death penalty as the only punishment that fits the crime, reports the Boston Herald. “If this doesn't convince people we need it I don't know what will,” said Rep. James Miceli, a Democrat who plans on organizing a group of pro-death penalty lawmakers today. “I'm going to do my best to get this on the books. Shame on us for not doing it before this.” The boy was ordered removed from life support yesterday after a severe Father's Day beating allegedly by his father, Leslie Schuler.
Massachusetts hasn't had an execution since 1947; the Supreme Judicial Court formally abolished the death penalty in 1984. Several Republican governors, most recently Mitt Romney, have tried to reinstate it. The movement got its strongest backing after the 1997 death of Jeffrey Curley, a 10-year-old boy who was sexually assaulted and smothered by two men. The House rejected the bill in an unusual tie vote. “This is not an issue that breaks down along party lines,” said Rep. George Peterson, a Republican. “t's just too bad that we only seem to get any kind of traction when there is some horrific situation that comes out in the press.”