State by State, the Death Penalty Is Losing Ground

Death Penalty DyingWhen the Connecticut Legislature abolished the state’s death penalty three years ago, it explicitly left in place the death sentences of those who committed their crimes before the repeal. Abolition for future crimes, said the Legislature, not for past crimes.

But last week, in a landmark 4-3 decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court found that the death penalty violates the state’s constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and that abolition must therefore extend to everyone. The 11 prisoners on the state’s death row, plus a 12th man facing a death sentence, have been spared.

Although the State of Connecticut vs. Eduardo Santiago ruling definitively bans capital punishment in Connecticut, it raises three key questions about the death penalty nationally.

Kevin M. Barry
Los Angeles Times

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