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The heated debate over whether the state should do away with its current capital punishment law is expected to face its first hurdle today.
The General Assembly's Judiciary Committee was expected to vote this morning on a bill that, if passed, would end the death penalty in Connecticut and ensure that the harshest punishment possible would be life in prison.
While the vote had not been taken as of 11:30 a.m., proponents of the bill had expressed confidence that it would be passed by the Committee and, eventually, sent on for consideration by the Connecticut Legislature.
According to language in the bill, its passage would not affect those currently on death row. That has been a major source of contention as many lawmakers, including those in favor of ending capital punishment, have wanted to be assured that killers Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, who were convicted of the 2007 murders of three Cheshire residents, would still receive their sentence.
However, opponents have stated that the repeal of the death penalty would prompt appeals from those convicted of capital punishment, including Komisarjevsky and Hayes. They have further state that, under such circumstances, it would be likely that the death penalty convictions would be overturned.