Connecticut is about to become the 17th state in the US to do away with the death penalty. The states Senate passed the resolution with a final vote of 20-16 after 10 hours of debate and a vote that didn’t occur until 2:05am.
The state’s House of Representatives and the governor have already vowed to pass and sign the bill into law.
After the bill is signed and passed into law the highest form of punishment in the state will be life in prison without the possibility of parole.
For the 11 men sitting on death row the law won’t change a thing, they will still be executed with no chance of being “grandfathered” into the new rules. Essentially the bill doesn’t change rulings but forces judges to remove the death penalty from available options.
While the bill was voted against by mostly Republicans, two Democrats also opposed the measure. GOP lawmakers said the death penalty is a powerful way to deliver punishment to the “worst of the worst” in society while acting as a deterrent against the worst types of crimes.
One senator in the state argued that if the death penalty is “always wrong” the 11 men on death row should be grandfathered in under the new law.
While 11 men currently sit on death row in Connecticut, the state has only executed one prisoner since 1960. That prisoner was only put to death after waiving his appeals because he found death row to be an awful place to live out his life any longer.