HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Four Montana legislators are spearheading a bipartisan effort to replace the death penalty with life in prison.

The anti-death penalty group Montana Abolition Coalition introduced the bill Monday with two Democratic and two Republican sponsors.

Efforts to repeal the death penalty have cleared the state Senate the last two legislative sessions but died in the House.

Backers say they are going to start in the House this time in an effort to get the measure to a floor debate in that chamber.

Death penalty opponents argue the punishment is immoral, costly and makes it possible to execute an innocent person. Some Republican foes argue they can't be both opposed to abortion and support the death penalty.

Death penalty backers say it's an important deterrent and fair justice.

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