The death penalty in Connecticut is broken beyond repair. It risks executing an innocent person. It doesn't keep us any safer. It's far more expensive than alternatives. And it fails to meet the needs of murder victims' family members.
Seventy-six people who lost a loved one to murder signed a letter asking the Connecticut legislature to end the death penalty.
In their letter, the families say the death penalty prolongs pain as it inevitably drags out the legal process and leaves victim’s families in limbo waiting for an execution that may never come.
The families say it is shameful that Connecticut spends millions of dollars and countless hours pursuing a few capital cases when there are so many victims’ family members with unmet needs.
The concept that the death penalty is necessary for those especially “heinous” crimes is not only unhelpful but, according to their letter, it is actually offensive:
“The implication is that other murders are ordinary and do not merit the death penalty. From experience, we can tell you that every murder is heinous, a tragedy for the lost one’s family. The death penalty has the effect of elevating certain victims’ families above others. Connecticut should be better than that.”
The old excuse – that the death penalty is “for the victims’ families” – no longer has even a shred of credibility. In fact, it is perfectly clear the death penalty is one of the worst things we do to victims’ families and - if we care about their needs, we should end it.
Connecticut can end the death penalty. In 2009 the state legislature voted to repeal the death penalty and it would be law today if it hadn't been vetoed by then-Governor Jodi Rell.
But current Governor Dan Malloy has promised he will sign a repeal bill if it gets to his desk. Take action now, and let's get him that bill. Please tell your Connecticut legislators to stop wasting resources on a broken, ineffective system that only causes more harm -- and pass a bill to end this state's death penalty.