Some Connecticut lawmakers seek to ban death penalty

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November 29, 2010, 4:40 pm

(NECN: Brian Burnell, Hartford, Conn.) - Some Connecticut lawmakers want to ban the death penalty in the state. They are planning to introduce legislation that would do just that.

This comes just weeks after jurors recommended a death sentence in a deadly home invasion.

The Connecticut legislature has passed repeals of the death penalty before but always faced a veto from the governor.  That was then.  This is now.  The now of Dan Malloy who will be the first democrat to take the oath of office in 2 decades. 

Dan Malloy, D-Ct Governor-elect: "If the legislature was to pass a law that did away with the death penalty on a prospective basis I would sign it." 

Malloy is a former prosecutor who calls Connecticut's death penalty unworkable. 

Dan Malloy, D-CT Governor-elect: "Of the people on death row in Connecticut two have been there for 20 years or more.  Since 1960 only one person has been put to death in Connecticut and that person volunteered for it."

The problem with the debate over Connecticut's death penalty is when its going to take place.  One of the murderers in the Cheshire home invasion, Steven Hayes, has already been convicted and sentenced to death.  The other, Joshua Komisarjevsky, will likely get the death penalty after he goes on trial in January.  Their names will likely dominate the debate.

State rep Gary Holder-Winfield introduced the anti-death penalty bill that passed last session.

Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, D-New Haven: "It does color the debate but it colored the debate in the first round where we tried to put forward this bill.  Dr. Petit was around the building."

Dr. William Petit, Cheshire CT: "If you allow murderers to live you are givng them more regard, more value, than many people who have been murdered in this state including these women who never hurt a soul."

Dr. William Petit is the husband and faTher of the people Hayes and Komisarjevsky killed... Jennifer Hawke-Petit and daughters Hayley and Michaela.  His voice carries a lot of weight.

Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, D-New Haven: "Policy makers are there to make law and they are there to make law based on the facts of all of our circumstances so when you look at the facts of the death penalty scheme in Connecticut it does not work."  

Malloy makes clear he will only sign a bill that keeps the men facing execution now on death row. The repeal would not apply to them, including Hayes and Komisarjevsky, should it come to that.

Tags: Steven Hayes, death row, death penalty , Brian Burnell
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