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News In Brief

February 24, 1984


Senate backs execution for major federal crimes

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The Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would restore the death penalty for major federal crimes such as treason or espionage and authorize it as punishment for attempted assassination of a president.

Existing federal law provides for the death penalty for treason, espionage, first-degree murder, felony murder, rape, and kidnapping.

The new bill would add attempted presidential assassination and murders behind bars by prisoners serving life sentences.

The bill was approved 63 to 32 by the Republican-dominated Senate. It now goes to the House, where the Democrats have a majority.

Its fate there is unclear.