Victory: Connecticut Abolishes Death Penalty
Today, Connecticut became the 17th state in the U.S. to abolish the death penalty. The bill, signed by Goernor Dannel P. Malloy (D-CT) this afternoon, is effective immediately. The harshest sentence in Connecticut will thus be life without the possiblity of parole. No incoming prisoners will be added to Connecticut's death row, but the lives of the eleven men currently awaiting death sentences may not be spared.
In a written statement, Governor Malloy said that his position on capital punishment evolved over the years. Malloy, who “spent years as a prosecutor and pursued dangerous felons [and murderers] in court,” said:
In the trenches of a criminal courtroom, I learned firsthand that our system of justice is very imperfect. While it’s a good system designed with the highest ideals of our democratic society in mind, like most of human experience, it is subject to the fallibility of those who participate in it. I saw people who were poorly served by their counsel. I saw people wrongly accused or mistakenly identified. I saw discrimination. In bearing witness to those things, I came to believe that doing away with the death penalty was the only way to ensure it would not be unfairly imposed.
A Quinnipac University Poll released today revealed that 62% of registered voters continue to favor the death penalty. The university’s poll also reported that while 33% of voters approved the abolishment of capital punishment, 47% of voters disapproved of Malloy’s decision.