Senate Committee Approves Death Penalty for Sex Assaults on Kids

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Denver (AP) A senate committee has approved a bill that would allow the state to execute people convicted of sexually assaulting children under 12 years old.

The bill applies to perpetrators who threaten to retaliate against their victims.

Sen. Josh Penry, R-Fruita, said the death penalty would be a deterrent to predators who have previously been convicted of sexual assault on a child.

“If it happens, it won't happen again,” Penry told the committee.

Prosecutors would have to submit DNA evidence to pursue the death penalty. If there is no DNA, the maximum penalty would be life in prison.

Republican Sen. Steve ward of Littleton is the sponsor. The bill now goes to the senate appropriations committee where it faces a tough uphill battle because of a high price tag for defending and prosecuting death penalty cases.