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Will Connecticut Be The 17th State To Abolish The Death Penalty?

Will Connecticut Be The 17th State To Abolish The Death Penalty?

After a vote in its Senate on Thursday, Connecticut is set to end the death penalty, although those currently on death row will still face execution. The state would become the 17th state to abolish capital punishment.

Since 2007, the death penalty has been abolished in four states (New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Illinois). In November, California voters will be asked in a ballot measure to end state executions. Even in states that still allow the practice, the number of state-sanctioned killings has dropped by about half since 1999.

This is good news. The death penalty is immoral. No one has the right to deliberately take someone else’s life. So let’s keep the momentum going, to end capital punishment in the United States.

The 20-16 vote came at 2:05 a.m., after more than 10 hours of debate. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass easily. Governor Dannel P. Malloy has pledged to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.

The fate of the repeal drive was sealed earlier this week, when several one-time supporters of capital punishment indicated they were switching their stance. Several of them spoke, often in bluntly personal terms, in the floor of the chamber.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Senator Edith Prague explained why she is now backing a bill that would abolish capital punishment in Connecticut and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of release.

From The Hartford Courant:

“I cannot stand the thought of being responsible for someone being falsely accused and facing the death penalty,” Prague said, speaking slowly and deliberately as her colleagues listened. “For me this is a moral issue…I don’t want to be part of a system that sends innocent people..to the death penalty.”

Like Prague, Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Miford, said she has spent many sleepless nights wrestling with the moral implications of capital punishment. “Does a moral society execute people?” she asked. “Haven’t we then become the evil we’re trying to eliminate?”

Slossberg had been a defender of the death penalty but she, too, has come to reassess her position. “For me, the most compelling reason to reject the death penalty is to set ourselves on the path to the kind of society we really want for our future,” she said.

“I want something better for our future,” Slossberg added. “We cannot confront darkness with darkness and expect light.”

Thank you, Senator Slossberg, for these powerful words.

The bill would replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of release. It stipulates that the 11 men currently on Connecticut’s death row would still face execution; capital punishment would only be abolished for those convicted of capital offenses in the future.

The measure passed largely along party lines, with two Democrats, Paul Doyle and Joan Hartley, joining the Republicans in rejecting the bill.

It’s a good day for justice in the state of Connecticut.

Related Stories

10 Reasons To Abolish The Death Penalty Now

Each Execution Costs California $300 Million

BREAKING: Illinois Abolishes Death Penalty

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Photo Credit: League Of Women Voters Of California

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60 comments

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11:18AM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

Abolish the death penalty in the US.

9:08AM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

I don't know...I don't think the death penalty is black or white, there are so many gray areas. I don't think all murders should be punished by the death penality, but there are quite a few that rise to that level. I think that a certian criteria should be met to ensure the person is guilty, like DNA evidence, and if they are likely to kill again.

I certainly think serial murderers should get the death penality for sure. The cruelty they invoke on innocent victims certainly rises to that level. Ted Bundy escaped police custidy twice. During his second escape he killed a house full college girls, then killed a 14 year girl before he was caught. He tortured, beat, raped, even bit his victims. The death penality is a trip to the ice cream palor compared to the pain and suffering these women recieved.

These people are psychopaths and have no empathy for others. They are too dangerous to chance them getting out of jail when their sentence is done, or escaping. They have no conscience, so making them sit in a jail cell to reflect on what they've done has no bearing on them. They're unpredictible and will never stop raping, torturing, and killing people - they just can't, it's like an addiction with out a cure. The FBI estimates there are at least 50 serial killers operating in the U.S. at any given time.

8:42AM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

@ Stephen S..And if they are later proven to have been innocent, can your repugliCONS resurrect them ?

3:22AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

I also pray that all states of the US will end this barbaric practice. Stephen S, do you realise that the US has a far higher murder rate than the many civilized countries that abolished the death penalty decades ago? Or that poor, Afro-Americans are far more likely to be executed than whites who commit murders? Or that someone who is wrongly executed can never, ever be freed or receive justice. Would you want the death of an innocent person on your hands, Stephen? Vengence is a terrifying motivation.

7:25AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

Incredible that so many still execute. There seems to be considerable evidence that people get wrongly convicted due to incompetence or ill will."Oops sorry wrong accused" is a bit pointless after they're dead.

2:57AM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

Thanks for the article.

12:27AM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

How did Carol Ann O. send this to me as a personal message?
Date: Saturday, April 7, 2012, 10:11 AM
Subject: Conn death
YES AND THE TWO THAT COME TO MIND FIRST... RAPED, KIDNAPPED AND BURNED A MAN`S FAMILY WHILE HE WATCHED TOO PULVERIZED TO RESCUE HIS FAMILY> DO YOU WANT TO MOVE THEM NEXT DOOR TO YOUR LOVED ONES OR PAY FOR THEIR ROOM AND BOARD??

10:22PM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

One more thing. The death penalty often brings closure to the victims' families and makes them feel better. Why ruin that for them? They don't want to live knowing that their loved ones' killers are laughing about it in prison.

10:21PM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

You people are all wrong. First of all, I don't care if the death penalty costs more; it's worth it. It's funny how all of you say that it's wrong to kill another human being, yet I'm sure all of you support a woman's right to murder her unborn child. There's nothing wrong with the death penalty; it is JUSTICE. If it's revenge, too, so what? Murderers DESERVE to die. Life in prison simply isn't enough punishment for the crime of murder; that's why murderers always appeal death sentences. The victim is dead; it's unfair for the perpetrator to still be living. Finally, if you want to look at it from a religious point of view, the Bible actually says to execute murderers. Get the Republicans back in power, and bring back the death penalty to every state!

4:35PM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

True Carol Ann...But the alternative is that we would have even more people walking around blind...
blinded by injustice and intolerance than an eye for an eye perpetuates...1love

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