Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reason #169: Another One Bites the Dust

I almost talked about Obama signing the JOBS Act today, but I think I've given it enough credit already, so it was with relief that I noticed that Connecticut is about to become one of the last states in the northeast to abolish the death penalty - at least according to the state Senate. The state House is even more heavily liberal than the Senate, and with Governor Malloy being the first Democrat in the office in two decades, it looks like the repeal is a done deal.

Connecticut is also the fifth state overall to ban capital punishment in the last five years. In fact, the death penalty seems to have been going through a sort of shadow revolution over the last decade or so, despite how little attention it's gotten compared to gay rights - while the vast majority of states still technically have it on their books (though way fewer states than currently outlaw gay marriage), the number of actual executions per year has decreased by more than half since 1999, and the number of death sentences has decreased by more than two-thirds.

Even Connecticut, which actually tried this a few years back only to fall before the previous Governor's veto, has only actually executed one person in the last 51 years. There are eleven more currently on death row in the state, and though the tricky issue of what will happen to them if the repeal goes through is one of the death penalty defenders' points of contention, half of those people have been on death row for more than a decade (if not two), so it's not like anybody's in a big hurry to do anything about them as it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment