Connecticut Senate votes to abolish death penalty amid victim concerns

April 5, 2012


HARTFORD, Conn. –  Connecticut is poised to repeal the death penalty after a proposal to abolish capital punishment was approved by the state Senate early Thursday.

The 20-16 Senate vote is a major victory for the proposal, which would make life imprisonment the maximum penalty in the state. The proposal is expected to easily pass the state House of Representatives, and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he would sign the legislation into law if it reaches his desk.

The Hartford Courant reports many one-time supporters of capital punishment  in the Senate had switched their views as the week went on, and some spoke on a personal level after the decision was announced.

“I cannot stand the thought of being responsible for someone being falsely accused and facing the death penalty,” Sen. Edith Prague, a one-time death penalty supporter said according to The Hartford Courant. “For me this is a moral issue…I don’t want to be part of a system that sends innocent the death penalty.”

The Hartford Courant reports the vote was mostly along party lines, with Republicans arguing that the death penalty is a necessary tool in society.

The proposal does not directly affect the sentences of the 11 inmates currently on Connecticut’s death row. The bill also mandates prison conditions must mirror those on death row for inmates convicted under the new legislation.

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