Thursday, April 12, 2012

CT Legislature Abolishes Death Penalty!

Connecticut will become the 17th state in the United States, and the fifth in the last five years (Illinois in 2011 , New Mexico in 2009 and New Jersey in 2007), to abolish the death penalty in favor of life without parole after a vote in the State legislature on Wednesday night.
The bill, which Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has pledged to sign, advanced after a 9 1/2-hour debate focused largely on a provision that still mandates capital punishment for Connecticut's 11 death row inmates.  
The bill passed 86-62, with votes from 78 of 99 Democrats and eight of 52 Republicans. Senate Democrats passed the bill 20-16 last week, with two Democrats joining all 14 Republicans in opposition.
This is great news! The death penalty costs more money, is applied in a racially discriminatory way, does not deter crime and is logically (and ethically) indefensible. Let's hope Californians recognize this and vote to pass the End the Death Penalty Initiative in November 2012 to become the 18th state to bar the practice.

The New York Times notes that since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 1289 executions have occurred in the United States, with 935 in the seven states along the Southern U.S. border with Texas accounting for a whopping 481 executions by itself. The only states in the Northeastern U.S. which still allows state-sanctioned killing are Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

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