Connecticut Moves Toward Repealing the Death Penalty

After a state Senate vote on Thursday, it looks as though Connecticut is likely to be the next state to repeal the death penalty.

CNN reports:

The Connecticut Senate on Thursday voted to repeal the death penalty, setting the stage for Connecticut to join several states that have recently abolished capital punishment.

In the last five years, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Illinois have repealed the death penalty. California voters will decide the issue in November.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is also expected to pass. Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, has vowed to sign the measure into law should it reach his desk, his office said.

Capital punishment has been legal in the state since colonial days, except for a four-year period in the 1970s when the state had a moratorium of the death penalty, according to CNN. 

Since then, Connecticut juries have handed down 15 death sentences. Of those, only one person has actually been executed, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonpartisan group that studies death penalty laws.

Michael Ross, a convicted serial killer, was put to death by lethal injection in 2005 after giving up his appeals.

"It's not a question of whether it's morally wrong, it's just that it isn't working," said Richard Dieter, the group's executive director. "I think when you hear of 15 to 20 years of uncertain appeals, that's not closure and that's not justice. It's a slow, grinding process."

Indeed. Congratulations, Connecticut. 

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at April 5, 2012, 7:08am

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