Connecticut kills the death penalty


In recent weeks the Connecticut State Senate and House of Representatives voted to repeal that state’s death penalty.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, has indicated he will sign the bill, which would make the State of Connecticut the 17th state in the country to abolish capital punishment for future cases. The bill exempts the 11 men who currently are on death row awaiting execution. In the last 52 years only one person has been executed in Connecticut and that individual willingly volunteered to be put to death and stop all appeals.

As he prepares to sign a repeal of Connecticut's death penalty into law, Governor Malloy has indicated that his decision might be politically unpopular but even if he doesn't have the support of all voters he suggested that he would stick to his own convictions. According to Malloy his convictions were formed by both his Catholic faith and his experiences as a Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney where he won 22 convictions in 23 felony cases--four of them homicides.

Last November a delegation from various countries taking part in the meeting promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio on the theme, No Justice without Life, received an audience with Pope Benedict XVI in which the Holy Father encouraged “the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”

The movement to abolish the death penalty continues to grow across the globe and its elimination in Connecticut is a most welcome advance in the cause of human dignity. We commend the Connecticut General Assembly and Governor Malloy for their courage in choosing convictions over political popularity in their efforts. Along with the Holy Father we encourage the political leaders of the 33 states in the United States that continue to allow capital punishment to join Connecticut in killing the death penalty forever.