With Death Penalty System Bogged Down, Connecticut Considers Abolition

On March 8, Connecticut held a legislative hearing about what should be done with the state’s death penalty. The Judiciary Committee has already approved a bill to abolish capital punishment. Connecticut has carried out only one execution since 1973, and that was with an inmate who waived his appeals and volunteered for execution. The Chief State’s Attorney, Kevin T. Kane submitted a proposal to reform the system, but it would curtail the appeals process used to protect against mistakes. Kane told the Committee that the death penalty should be abolished if it wasn’t fixed. ”Right now, we have a situation that there’s no end to it,” said Kane. “There’s no end that I can see, at least in my lifetime. There’s no hope that I can give a victim … that the death penalty will be imposed. The legislature should either repeal it or fix it.” In 2005, Connecticut lawmakers also debated a proposal to repeal capital punishment.

(T. Mann, “Hearing covers proposed death penalty reforms,” The Day, May 9, 2009). See Recent Legislative Activity. There are currently 10 people on the state’s death row, 7 of whom are black or Hispanic.