A mother whose daughter’s killer sits on death row says she’s “angry” after the state Supreme Court struck down the death penalty on Thursday, ruling it's unconstitutional.
“The only hope that I had for him to be confined and miserable for the rest of his life they’re taking that away too,” Betsy Betterini, mother of Elizabeth Garcia, said.
In 2002, Garcia was the victim of a horrible crime, police said.
Then 21-year-old was raped and killed in her Hartford apartment, police said.
Her neighbor, Lazale Ashby, was convicted of the murder and sentenced to death.
He had just turned 18 years old days before the attack.
“He had no remorse,” Betterini said.
Betterini says she hoped her daughter’s killer would be put to death. But she thought that Ashby living on death row was a punishment itself.
“Death penalty would put you in a cell 6-by-6. I believe you only go out one hour a day and that could be during the day or the night. So he’s confined for 23 hours,” says Betterini.
Betterini says she had found some closure in the sentence. Now that her daughter’s killer no longer faces the death penalty, Betterini feels that she’s lost something again.
“The only hope that I had for him to be confined and miserable for the rest of his life, they’re taking that away too,” says Betterini.
Betterini holds close the memories of her daughter and pictures of Garcia still adorn the family fridge.
“She was very caring and loving. And she wasn’t prejudiced. She liked everyone,” says Betterini.
“I go on with my life. I laugh. I work. I have fun. I go on vacations. But people really don’t understand that not a day goes by that I don’t think about my daughter.”