State Capitol News
10:50 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Governor Vetoes Death Penalty, Gun and Rideshare Bills

Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed legislation Thursday that would have allowed more criminals to be executed. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

Credit CBS 5 News


Current law allows the death penalty to be imposed in capital murder cases only when there are aggravating circumstances, like killing for hire or committing the murder in an especially heinous fashion. This measure would have made someone death-penalty eligible for killing someone while engaged in human smuggling.

More concerning to Brewer was a provision which would allow the death penalty to be imposed if there was a “substantial likelihood that the defendant would commit criminal acts of violence that constitute a continuing threat to society.”

Brewer said that could be considered so broad as to make the statute unconstitutional. The governor separately vetoed legislation, which would have excluded air guns from what are considered firearms — and therefore not allowed in public buildings — saying they still are capable of injuring and killing.

Brewer also nixed legislation which would have allowed rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to accept paying passengers without complying with some of the same regulations, like driver drug testing, that govern taxi firms.

And, she vetoed legislation to limit the ability of the state Board of Education to set academic standards. Thursday’s action brings her veto total this year to 19, still short of the 26 last year but with more bills on her desk awaiting action.