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The death penalty in Connecticut is all but a memory now.
Following up on the State Senate's lead, the Connecticut House of Representatives Wednesday voted to repeal the capital punishment law in the state, making "life in prison without the possibility of parole" the most severe sentence possible. The vote — 86-62 — mostly followed party lines, with a majority of Democrats voting for the repeal and Republicans voting to uphold the law.
While the repeal will apply immediately, once Gov. Dannel Malloy signs the bill as he has promised to do, it will not technically affect those current on death row. Of the 11 men awaiting the death penalty, Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, the two men involved in the Petit triple homicide from 2007, are the most recognizable. Many believe the law was written to be prospective in order to prevent Komisarjevsky and Hayes from benefitting from the repeal.
However, one local law maker, Republican Representative Al Adinolfi, who represents Cheshire, is not convinced that the two Cheshire killers will be immune to the affects of the appeal.
“It’s disingenuous to say you can prospectively repeal the death penalty but still execute those who are already on Death Row. There is an exhaustive history of existing law that suggests the obvious argument that it would be untenable as a matter of constitutional law or public policy to execute someone today who could not be executed for committing the same conduct at a date in the future,” stated Adinolfi, in a statement released after the repeal vote had taken place.
Adinolfi has been a local opponent of repeal and a staunch supporter of continuing the death penalty in Connecticut.
“I believe the death penalty if applied fairly and justly is an appropriate punishment. A death sentence permanently removes the worst and most heinous criminals from society and proves much safer for the rest of the law-biding citizens than the long term or permanent incarceration of that individual. It is self evident that dead criminals cannot commit any further crimes, either within prison or after escaping or after being released from one,” Adinolfi continued in his statement.