Boston Globe
  November 3, 1982

  By Nick King, Globe Staff 

  A major legislative battle over the restoration of capital punishment can 
  be expected by the end of the year, following passage yesterday of a 
  statewide death penalty referendum.

  The constitutional amendment clearing the way for legislative enactment of 
  a death penalty statute was approved by a margin of 60-40.

  The issue now is whether proponents can force a death penalty bill through 
  the Legislature soon enough to be signed by outgoing Gov. Edward J. King, 
  a death penalty supporter, or whether opponents can delay it until after 
  the inauguration of governor-elect Michael S. Dukakis, a death penalty 
  opponent who would likely veto any capital punishment bill.

  Yesterday's margin on the death penalty question, less than the 2-1 
  victory predicted by proponents, left both sides claiming victory and 
  warming up rhetorically for the legislative fight.

  King legal adviser Dennis J. Curan called the victory "a mandate," while 
  Atty. Max Stern, chairman of the Campaign Against Restoration of the Death 
  Penalty, said there is "clearly an antideath penalty constituency in 

  In another major referendum campaign, voters reaffirmed support of the 
  bottle bill by 59 to 41 percent. The vote makes it certain that the 
  mandatory deposit law passed by the Legislature last year will now take 
  effect on Jan. 17.

  Two referendum questions focused on the nuclear issue. In a ballot 
  question mirroring a national trend, 72 percent of the voters 
  overwhelmingly called for an international freeze of nuclear weapons.

  And in a more parochial vote, state restrictions on nuclear power plant 
  construction and nuclear waste siting were approved by a margin of 66 to 
  34 percent.

  A proposed constitutional amendment to clear the way for state aid to 
  private and parochial schools was rejected by a margin of 62 to 38 percent.

  For proponents of the bottle bill, last night's victory over the bottling 
  industy-financed referendum culminated a 15-year-long strugggle for a 
  mandatory deposit law. However, the Bay State reaffirmation of the bottle 
  bill appeared to buck a national trend, with mandatory deposit laws in 
  trouble in ballot questions in several states, including Colorado and 

  Dan Adams, regional vice president of the US Brewers Assn., said the 
  Massachusetts vote appeared to reflect the antibusiness bias of the 
  Northeast. He said the bottling industry will comply with the new law even 
  though he believes it will raise consumer prices and cost industry jobs.

  Meanwhile, members of the grass roots Campaign to Save the Bottle Bill 
  savored victory last night.

  "It's pretty clear the citizens of Massachusetts are overwhelmingly in 
  favor of the bottle bill," said spokesman Mark Weber. "Now it's finally 
  going to get a chance."

  The law, similar to bottle bills in five other states, specifies a nickel 
  deposit on small beverage containers and a dime depost on large ones.

  Question 2, the death penalty, is technically an amendment to the 
  Massachusetts Constitution. It would authorize the Legislature to enact a 
  capital punishment statute by providing that no provision of the 
  constitution could be construed as prohibiting the imposition of 
  punishment by death.

  The margin of victory is certain to guide the Legislature as to how strict 
  a statute to enact. The margin should also have a bearing on how Dukakis, 
  who opposes it, handles petitions for commutation of the death sentence.

  Question 5, a nonbinding resolution on a nuclear weapons freeze, also 
  attracted strong voter sentiment. The advisory petition called for a 
  mutual nuclear weapons freeze with the Soviet Union and other nations.

  Polls showed that the freeze had a broad spectrum of voter support in all 
  age, income, ethnic and party groups. Advocates of the freeze, who have 
  146 local committees across Massachusetts, won a last-minute legislative 
  battle in September when a compromise question for the ballot was speeded 
  through the Legislature.

  The now-popular freeze movement has its roots in western Massachusetts. 
  Two years ago nuclear moratorium questions appeared on ballots in 62 
  communities in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hamden counties, winning 
  by 2-1 margins.

  By the spring of this year the antinuclear arms race was in full swing. 
  Nuclear arms limitation questions were voted on in nearly 450 New England 
  town meetings.

  This fall, nuclear reduction proposals were also on the ballot in nine 
  other states, the District of Columbia and some 30 cities and counties.

  Question 3 was an initiative petition to restrict the construction of 
  nuclear power plants and nuclear waste facilities.

  The statute would require a legislative review of each proposal's 
  environmental impact followed by a statewide vote to ratify or defeat the 
  Legislature's findings.

  An amalgam of antinuclear forces sponsored the question while the 
  opposition came mainly from the manufacturers and users of nuclear 
  materials. The implications of the question, should it pass, are unclear 
  because the Legislature could repeal or amend it.

  Question 1 was a proposed constitutional amendment to remove the present 
  prohibition against the use of public funds to aid or maintain private or 
  parochial schools.

  Passage would have brought the state constitution more in line with the US 
  Constitution, which permits certain aid to students who attend private and 
  parochial schools.

  Terri Minsky of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.