The Connecticut Senate voted to abolish the death penalty early Friday morning after a marathon debate, narrowly approving a bill that would make life imprisonment without possibility of release the state’s highest criminal punishment.
The Senate approved the death penalty bill, 19-17, shortly after 4 a.m., after nearly 11 hours of debate. The same measure had previously passed in the House of Representatives, and proceeds to Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who has appeared likely to veto the bill.
If signed into law, the bill would make Connecticut the 16th American state without an active death penalty statute.
I suppose this could be a similar situation to what happened in New Mexico last month. Perhaps the governor of Connecticut, although he supports capital punishment, will see that the exorbitant costs, the disproportionate minority presence on death row and the possibility of executing an innocent, make it untenable.
What's your opinion? Is the country moving away from capital punishment in general? Is that good?
After the vote, Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, the bill’s chief proponent and the co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, sounded tired but jubilant.
“Death in many instances is too kind a penalty for some of these defendants,” McDonald said. “In my opinion, it is a harsher punishment to sentence an individual to life in prison without possibility of release. To know that every day when you wake up you will still be in an 8-by-10 (foot) cell. You will still not have direct sunlight in your life. You will still have the obligation to consider the harm and pain that you have inflicted on your victims.”
I thought that was an interesting take on it for the chief proponent of the bill. It almost sounds like he wants to find a way for the killers to suffer more. Maybe, this will convince the governor.
What do you think?