Connecticut may become the fifth state in the last five years to end the death penalty. The state Senate will likely vote today on a measure that would end capital punishment in all future cases. However, it would not have a direct impact on any of the 11 people currently on death row. If the Senate approves the measure, it will probably have an easy path forward; both the House and the governor support the repeal. But the vote will almost certainly be very close.
The state has hardly been liberal with the death penalty. In the last five decades, the state has only executed one person, a serial killer who ultimately supported the sentence. There's been talk of repealing the death penalty in Connecticut for a while—the legislature passed a similar measure in 2009 only to have it vetoed by then Governor Jodi Rell.
A brutal triple murder in 2007 brought more attention to capital crimes. Two men broke into the home of the wealthy Petit family in Chesire, murdering the mother and two daughters. The horrific case became a tabloid sensation, and William Petit, the father and sole survivor of the attack, supported the death penalty sentences both men received. The current proposal helps side-step the issue of the Petit family murders, as it does not change the sentences for those currently on death row.
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