CT Close to Eliminating Death Penalty
Update: Last night, the Connecticut House of Representatives approved the bill banning the death penalty in Connecticut. The bill now heads to Governor Dan Malloy’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law.
Last week, the state of Connecticut took a major step forward on the road to becoming the fifth state in the last five years to abolish the death penalty: The State Senate, in the wee hours of last Thursday, passed a bill banning capital punishment. As the Hartford Courant explained:
The bill would replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of release. It stipulates that the 11 men currently onConnecticut’s death row would still face execution; capital punishment would only be abolished for those convicted of capital offenses in the future.
The Courant went on to quote State Senator Edith Prague, whom the paper described as “a one-time supporter of the death penalty,” as saying: “I cannot stand the thought of being responsible for someone being falsely accused and facing the death penalty.” Echoing her colleague’s change of heart, Sen. Gayle Slossberg told the Courant, “For me, the most compelling reason to reject the death penalty is to set ourselves on the path to the kind of society we really want for our future,” adding “I want something better for our future. We cannot confront darkness with darkness and expect light.”
The Reform Movement has long opposed the death penalty under any circumstances, following the teaching in the Talmud of Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah that a court that puts even one person to death, even one person in 70 years, is “tyrannical.” It now falls to the Connecticut House of Representatives, which is expected to pass the legislation, and Governor Malloy (D), who has indicated he would sign the bill, to makeConnecticutone of 17 states without the death penalty.
Keep checking RACblog for updates on this issue, and visit the Religious Action Center’s death penalty resource page to learn more.
Image courtesy of the Associated Press, via the New York Daily News.