Connecticut And Death Penalty, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a bill into law Wednesday that abolishes the death penalty, making his state the 17th in the nation to abandon capital punishment and the fifth in five years to usher in a repeal.
The law is effective immediately, though prospective in nature, meaning that it would not apply to those already sentenced to death. It replaces the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of release as the state’s highest form of punishment.
“Although it is an historic moment — Connecticut joins 16 other states and the rest of the industrialized world by taking this action — it is a moment for sober reflection, not celebration,” Malloy said in a statement.
He added that the “unworkability” of Connecticut’s death penalty law was a contributing factor in his decision.
“In the last 52 years, only two people have been put to death in Connecticut — and both of them volunteered for it,” Malloy said. “Instead, the people of this state pay for appeal after appeal, and then watch time and again as defendants are marched in front of the cameras, giving them a platform of public attention they don’t deserve.”
This month, lawmakers in the state’s House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 86 to 63. The state Senate had approved it a week before.
State lawmakers first tried to pass a similar bill in 2009 but were ultimately blocked by then-Gov. Jodi Rell, a Republican.
Capital punishment has existed in the Nutmeg State since its colonial days. But it was forced to review its death penalty laws beginning in 1972, when a Supreme Court decision required greater consistency in its application.