Thursday, April 5, 2012

Connecticut one step closer to banning capital punishment

A push to abolish Connecticut's death penalty is one step closer to becoming a reality after clearing a key legislative hurdle in the state Senate, reported the Cristian Science Monitor.

State senators voted 20-16 in favor of a death penalty repeal bill after about 11 hours of impassioned floor debate.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is considered to have a high level of support, and then to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat who has said he would sign it into law.

Connecticut has carried out only one execution in 51 years, when serial killer Michael Ross was administered lethal injection in 2005, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

In the last five years, four states have repealed the death penalty — New Mexico, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia do not have a death penalty.

Executions nationwide have decreased steadily since they hit an all-time high of 98 executions in 1999 and have averaged at 44 a year since 2007, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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