Death Penalty In Connecticut Ruled Unconstitutional
The Connecticut Supreme Court on Thursday ruled the state’s death penalty is unconstitutional. The deeply divided court’s 4-3 ruling will affect the 11 inmates currently on the state’s death row
In 2012, lawmakers repealed the state’s death penalty, but stipulated that it only applied to future crimes. Plaintiffs in Thursday’s case had argued the 2012 ban should also extend to prisoners already on death row. As a result of the ruling, the inmates’ sentences will be converted into life without parole.
Justice Richard Palmer wrote: “Upon careful consideration of the defendant’s claims in light of the governing constitutional principles and Connecticut’s unique historical and legal landscape, we are persuaded that, following its prospective abolition, this state’s death penalty no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency and no longer serves any legitimate penological purpose.”
Connecticut has executed only two inmates in the past 54 years, both of whom effectively volunteered for execution by abandoning their appeals.