Connecticut repeals the death penalty

Connecticut has become the 17th state to repeal the death penalty:

Connecticut has become the 17th state to repeal the death penalty, with lawmakers voting 86-62 on the measure after a marathon debate that stretched into the night and revived memories of some of the state’s most heinous crimes.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has said he will sign the bill, which passed the House on Wednesday night, six days after the Senate approved it. The bill replaces capital punishment with life in prison without the possibility of parole, but it only applies to future cases and has no effect on the 11 men on death row in Connecticut.

This is Gideon’s home state, and he says it best at A Public Defender:

We will take a different approach. A road that leads to mercy and forgiveness. A path that saves the best in us. A choice that allows us to hold our head high and be counted among the citizens of the world. We will show that while it is difficult to resist our base instincts of anger, revenge and hatred, it is possible. And we can move past that and emerge stronger. We will lead by example.

We will not assume the hubris to decide, as a people, whose life is worth living. We will not ask that of our friends, neighbors and our children. We will unburden our state from the heavy yoke of carrying the deaths of so many. We will wash the blood from our hands.

Nevermore in my name.

I want to believe that public opinion is gradually turning against state-sponsored murder.  I am proud of Connecticut’s lawmakers.  And hopeful that the rest of the United States will follow suit.

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