Connecticut Becomes 17th US State to Repeal Death Penalty

Posted April 12th, 2012 at 3:55 am (UTC-5)
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The northeastern U.S. state of Connecticut has become the latest in the nation to abolish the death penalty.

The Democratic-majority state House of Representatives voted to repeal the law Wednesday by a vote of 88-62, a week after it was approved by the state Senate. It replaces the death penalty with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A similar effort was defeated last year amid the high profile trial of one of two men charged in the brutal murders of a mother and her two daughters during a 2007 home invasion. The woman's husband publicly opposed the repeal efforts. The men in that case were eventually convicted.

The bill now goes to Governor Dannel Malloy for his signature.

Connecticut has carried out only one execution in 51 years, which happened back in 2005. The bill does not exempt 11 prisoners currently awaiting execution, including the two men convicted in the 2007 murders. Republican opponents of the repeal argued that it will allow the death row inmates to appeal their executions.

Connecticut will be the 17th U.S. state to abolish the death penalty, and is one of five to abolish it over the last five years, joining Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico. Voters in California could vote on a referendum to repeal capital punishment in the November general election.