Yesterday Connecticut’s Judiciary Committee voted in favor of repealing the death penalty. It will now be up to the full House and Senate to vote up or down on whether Connecticut will finally get rid of capital punishment.
Last year, a similar bill was stymied by the fact that a high profile death penalty trial was ongoing. In 2009, a repeal bill passed both houses but was vetoed by then Governor Jodi Rell. The current Governor has said he supports repeal, and 179 murder victim family members signed a letter in support of ending Connecticut’s use of the death penalty.
Meanwhile in Maryland, repeal bills with 66 House and 19 Senate cosponsors, and with a majority ready to vote for them, remain stuck in committees. No state is more ripe for repeal than Maryland, where there hasn’t been a jury-issued death sentence in 10 years, and where a 2008 study commission set up by the legislature found that capital punishment is “more detrimental” to victims’ families than the alternatives.