Conn. death penalty repeal appears in doubt

Started by Jeff1857, April 12, 2008, 02:57:42 AM

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quasimodo

It really is lousy living in such a liberal state. It took ages to execute Michael Ross and even longer to dispose of the other residents of death row.

Thank God for Governor Rell in standing her ground!

Michael

Petit asks to streamline death penalty



Hartford, Conn. (AP) - The sole survivor of the deadly 2007 Cheshire home invasion is asking Connecticut legislators to streamline the legal process for death penalty cases and give victims a greater voice in the process.

Dr. William Petit testified on Wednesday before the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee. Lawmakers are considering a bill, proposed by Republicans, that places limits on certain appeals and adopts recommendations from a 2003 death penalty commission.

The bill comes a year after Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed a measure that would have abolished Connecticut's death penalty.

Petit says victims should be able to address the jury in a death penalty case during the penalty phase of the hearing. He says they typically speak after the jury has made its decision, which he says is a slap in the face to victims.

http://connpolitics.tv/index.php/2010/03/10/petit-asks-to-streamline-death-penalty
I´m not sure if there´s a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

Moh

Death row inmate accused of attacking guard

By Pat Eaton-Robb
Associated Press Writer / March 29, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn.--A death row inmate armed with a bottle of feces, urine and hot sauce attacked a guard Monday inside Connecticut's highest security prison, correction officials said.

The Northern Correctional Institution was locked down after the inmate, identified by a state lawmaker as Daniel Webb, punched a captain in the head just before 10:30 a.m. inside the Northern Correctional Institution, said Brian Garnett, a department spokesman.

Garnett refused to identify the inmate, but state Rep. Karen Jarmoc, D-Enfield, who served as chair of a task force on safety issues in the prisons, said she was notified that it was Daniel Webb, a 47-year-old awaiting execution for the 1989 murder of bank executive Diane Gellenbeck in Hartford.

"This is what the correctional staff calls a Pearl Harbor attack," Jarmoc said. "That means the inmate, unprompted, attacked the captain, just pounding him in the head."

Garnett declined to give details of the attack, but a department official with direct knowledge of the incident said Webb was being escorted from the prison library to his cell when he "sucker punched" the captain at least twice in the face.

Staff later found a spray bottle containing feces, urine and hot sauce inside Webb's prison jump suit, according to the official, who declined to be identified because he is not authorized to discuss the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Inmates are allowed to buy hot sauce from the prison commissary, he said.

Webb was not in handcuffs or shackles at the time, and death-row prisoners are not required to be restrained during routine escorts, the official said.

Webb had threatened the captain before, and had been upset over what he and other death row inmates perceive as an unfair lack of privileges on death row, the official said.

Garnett said four other staff members were injured while subduing Webb. All five staff members were taken to outside medical facilities for evaluation. None of the injuries appeared to be serious, officials said.

"The injuries included injuries to the shoulders, back, hands and those sorts of things," Garnett said. "State police have been notified, and we will seek outside charges."

Jarmoc said a legislative subcommittee has been working to come up with measures to keep guards safer and provide more consequences for inmates who attack prison staff.

"There is not a whole lot holding them back from doing this type of thing," she said. "In the case of Daniel Webb, the guy's on death row, you can't add on to a death sentence. But, do you make his life more miserable within that facility?"

http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/articles/2010/03/29/conn_death_row_inmate_accused_of_attacking_guards/

Anne

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/carousel/x1560857051/5-years-later-Ross-executed-but-issue-continues-to-stir-debate

5 years later, Ross executed , but issue continues to stir debate

By GREG SMITH
Norwich Bulletin
Posted May 12, 2010 @ 11:37 PM

It's been five years since Edwin Shelley, of Griswold, made a trip to a courthouse, answered a question from a reporter or watched the face of his daughter's killer on the evening news.

Shortly after 2 a.m. May 13, 2005, serial killer Michael Ross, 45, was put to death by lethal injection. After 18 years on death row, Ross was the first person executed in the state in 45 years. There has not been an execution since, and 10 people remain on Connecticut's death row.

Shelley was there to watch Ross put to death and said it would perturb him to see legislators make a play at changing the death penalty law.
Shelley's daughter, Leslie, 14, was killed by Ross April 22, 1984, with her best friend, April Brunais, also 14.

"We've had five years of peace. He's been put out of our mind," Shelley said. "This is the only way you can move forward. For me he's a thing of the past. He's no longer out there. He can't write a book. He can't (write) for his website."

Death penalty repeal

Candidates vying for governor have varying ideas on the death penalty.

Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed a measure to abolish the death penalty in 2009, but several Democrats seeking her seat disagree with that decision.

Gubernatorial elections loom as two men facing the death penalty in a Cheshire home invasion go to trial. Steven Hayes and Joshua
Komisarjevsky were arrested in 2007 for breaking into a Cheshire home, beating Dr. William Petit and killing his wife and two daughters.

"I'm not looking to weaken the law," said Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele, a Republican seeking Rell's seat. "I support the death penalty for the most heinous crimes. I would veto any bill that comes across my desk."

Republican candidates Tom Foley and Oz Griebel also are on record as death penalty supporters. Fedele said the state budget is a more pressing issue at this time.

But Democrats Ned Lamont and Dannel Malloy, also seeking the governor's seat, said they would not have vetoed the bill. Malloy, a former prosecutor, said he's studied the issue and remains firmly against the death penalty.

"There is no relationship between the presence of the death penalty and the number of homicides. It is not a deterrent. If it were, Texas would have the fewest number of homicides," Malloy said. "On moral grounds, I don't believe the government should be putting people to death."

He said the Petit case, though "atrocious," does not change his position. He believes the appropriate penalty is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Eight murders

Ross, a former insurance salesman from Jewett City, admitted killing eight women between 1981 and 1984. His victims ranged in age from 14 to 25 and all but one was raped and strangled. His execution came only after he sought an end to an exhaustive number of appeals.

Ben Jones, executive director of the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty, said the appeals process in place is "a very long and drawn-out process that can be painful." But it is there, in part, to prevent killing an innocent defendant.

He points to a number of exoneration across the country, including Randy Steidl, who was convicted and sentenced to death in 1986 and spent 17 years in prison in Illinois before evidence came to light that proved his innocence, Jones said.

He said his organization sets out to educate the public. People often change their minds about supporting the death penalty when they learn more about the costs of keeping someone on death row, the racial socioeconomic disparities and the effect on family members, he said.

"Connecticut is no different than other states. We make mistakes. It's just a matter of time," he said. "We've had over 5,000 murders in Connecticut since 1973 and only one execution."

He said his group will push to get a bill passed repealing the death penalty.

Shelley, 71, said the judicial system needs to be streamlined, even things as minor as transcribing testimony, to prevent months and years of waiting for the grieving families of victims.

"Let's worry about the economy instead of what's going to happen on death row," Shelley said. "There are more important problems."

Copyright 2010 Norwich Bulletin. Some rights reserved











kanga


CONNECTICUT:

SHU Professor Examines Death Penalty's Deterrence Effect


Editor's note: The following op-ed was submitted by Chris DeSanctis, a District 6 member of Fairfield's Representative Town Meeting and an adjunct professor in Sacred Heart University's Department of Government and Politics.


Connecticut's new governor and Democratic legislative majority have promised to abolish capital punishment despite public opinion. They're not alone. Most European governments abolished death sentences regardless of public opinion.

"There is barely a country in Europe where the death penalty was abolished in response to public opinion rather than in spite of it," stated Joshua Marshall in The New Republic magazine. "In other words, if these countries' political cultures are morally superior to America's, it is because they are less Democratic."

It's unfortunate that majority opinion in Connecticut will likely be ignored. True, majorities are not always right, but when an issue has that much support among citizens regionally and nationally - like in Europe and America respectively - Connecticut's state government should pay more attention.

Gallup's latest poll has 64 % of Americans supporting capital punishment while 29 % oppose (for overly atrocious crimes, support rises to 80 %.) Even more important to Connecticut, the latest Quinnipiac Poll shows 65 % of people statewide favor the death penalty for murder.

In 1999, Russell Peeler ordered the murders of 8-year old Leroy "B.J." Brown Jr. and his mother, Karen. B.J. witnessed her execution before being shot in the head. In 2005, Kim and Tim Donnelly of Fairfield were coldly shot to death in their family-run jewelry store. And in 2007, Cheshire residents Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters were sexually abused and murdered in a case still receiving national attention for its viciousness. Some of the perpetrators of these crimes will spend the rest of their lives on death row, but most likely, none will be executed. As state Rep. Mike Lawlor pointed out, "The way the current law is written, nobody is ever going to be executed again in Connecticut, unless they force the issue."

Half of Americans believe capital punishment is not imposed enough while just 18 percent think it is imposed too much (2010 Gallup poll.) Indeed, this mirrors Connecticut, where capital punishment is almost completely unused: Nine convicted murderers are still awaiting execution (one death row inmate has been there for 22 years); 19 have long-standing death penalty cases; and only one person has been executed since 1960 (Michael Ross begged to have his execution carried out.) Could this lack of swift justice be the cause of future murders? Can execution save lives?

The academic world has been weighing in on a deterrence effect. As reported by the Associated Press (AP 2007), over the last 10 years, several studies have confidently asserted to confirm capital punishment deters murders, saving 3 to 18 lives for every 1 person executed. Dr. Naci Mocan, a death penalty opponent and economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, co-authored a 2003 study and a 2006 study re-examining evidence. The studies evaluate state-level data on the influence of individuals removed from death row, those executed, and those who received commuted sentences between 1977 and 1999. Dr. Mocan concluded the effect of 1 execution is 5 fewer murders: "There is no question about it. The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect. The results are robust ..."

Other studies assert similar results (AP 2007):

• "Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University."

• "The Illinois moratorium on executions in 2000 led to 150 additional homicides over four years following, according to a 2006 study by professors at the University of Houston."

• "Speeding up executions would strengthen the deterrent effect. For every 2.75 years cut from time spent on death row, one murder would be prevented, according to a 2004 study by an Emory University professor."

In response to such reports, well-known liberal law professor and death penalty opponent Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago commented, "If it's the case that executing murderers prevents the execution of innocents by murderers, then the moral evaluation is not simple." And, "Abolitionists or others, like me, who are skeptical about the death penalty haven't given adequate consideration to the possibility that innocent life is saved by the death penalty."

Certainly, more studies are needed and old studies should be re-examined. However, if it is likely that innocent lives are saved by executing (not just convicting) cold-blooded murderers, then Connecticut leaders need to consider the ramifications of abolishing the death penalty.

I believe Professor John McAdams from Marquette University makes a strong case on this point: "If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of ... innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former."

We owe it to the surviving families of the above-mentioned victims to review the facts and save other families from unnecessary suffering. Most people weigh the costs and benefits of their actions, and for murder, the cost should be as great as possible. The academic world is onto something.

(source: Opinion; Chris DeSanctis is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at Sacred Heart University and a District 6 member of the Representative Town Meeting in Fairfield----Fairfield Patch)

********************


AnneTheBelgian

http://www.courant.com/news/local/statewire/hc-ap-ct-deathpenalty-connfeb09,0,7808425.story

Victims' families seek Conn. death penalty repeal

Associated Press

February 9, 2011

AP-WF-02-09-11 0822GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The families of murder victims are gathering at the state Capitol to voice support for repealing Connecticut's death penalty.

The group is scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday.

Seventy-six people who have all lost loved ones to murder have signed a letter saying capital punishment in Connecticut offers a "false promise that goes unfilled," leaving the families frustrated and angry after fighting the legal system for years.

The group also argues that the state is wasting millions of dollars in the process. They say the money could help provide services to victims.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he will sign legislation abolishing the state's death penalty, a marked change from former Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who supported capital punishment for particularly heinous crimes.













Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

AnneTheBelgian

http://blogs.courant.com/capitol_watch/2011/02/death-penalty-repeal-efforts-f.html

Death penalty repeal efforts focus on the impact on victims' families

By Daniela Altimari

on February 9, 2011 11:14 AM

Dozens of murder victims' families have signed a letter calling on lawmakers to repeal the state's death penalty.

"In Connecticut, the death penalty is a false promise that goes unfulfilled, leaving victims' families frustrated and angry,'' states the letter signed by 76 mothers, brothers, daughters, and in-laws of murder victims. "And as the state hangs on to this broken system, it wastes millions of dollars that could go toward much needed victims' services.''

Instead of building a case that the death penalty constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment," or asserting that the state should not be in the business of killing -- even in the name of justice -- or that mistakes can be made and innocent people could be put to death, repeal proponents gathered for a press conference at the Capitol this morning focused on the impact the death penalty has on victims' families.

"The death penalty ensnares people in the criminal justice system where mandatory appeals, constitutional challenges and never-ending media attention result in notoriety for the murderer and years of suffering and uncertainty for the families left behind,'' said Gail Canzano, a psychologist from West Hartford whose brother-in-law was murdered in 1999. She was one of dozens of family members who attended the press conference; many of them brought framed portraits of their slain loved ones.

State Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, the New Haven Democrat leading the repeal effort in the legislature, says he is confident a bill will pass this session, though the margin may be slimmer than the 90 to 56 vote in the House in favor of repeal in 2009. (That year, the Senate also voted in support of repeal, but then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed the bill.)



Changes in the make-up of the General Assembly aren't the only factor that could make it harder to pass a repeal bill. Another issue that could complicate the picture: the looming trial of Joshua Komisarjevsky, one of two men accused of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley and Michaela, in their Cheshire home. Jury selection is scheduled to begin March 14; Holder-Winfield said he expects a Judiciary Committee public hearing on the repeal bill to be held in mid-March, although not date has been set.

The victims at this morning's press conference expressed profound sympathy for Dr. William Petit, the lone survivor of the home invasion, who spoke in favor of the death penalty in the past.

"The entire state was traumatized by those murders and the entire state, all of us, our hearts break for that man and his family,'' Canzano said. "I am so sorry we were not able to abolish capital punishment before those murders in Cheshire happened...we watched what that trial did to those elderly parents, we watched Dr. Petit weep in the courtroom...I can only say I am so sorry Dr. Petit has to go through this...they will go through appeals for decades. I think that they will never see these murders executed.''

As heinous as the Petit murders were, advocates for repeal of the death penalty said all murders are horrific and all family members suffer.

"Every murder is heinous, no one murder is worse than any other,'' said George Kain, an associate professor of justice and law administration at Western Connecticut State University. "Yet the truth is that we operate in the criminal justice system where some murders are in fact judged to be crueler and somehow are more special than other murders."

Michael C. Culhane, the chief lobbyist for the Catholic Church in Connecticut, said his heart bleeds for Dr. Petit and his family. But the church will actively work to support the repeal effort. "The church's position is grounded in its firm belief in the sanctity of life, as we view life as being sacred from conception to natural death."












Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

AnneTheBelgian

http://thestamfordtimes.com/story/499374

Repeal of death penalty again a focus

Posted on 02/14/2011

By STEVE KOBAK

Times Staff Writer

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

NORWALK -- Norwalker Joe Santo has always retained a cut-and-dry view on crime and punishment, and the 1997 murder of Santo's 13-year-old cousin only served to strengthen his convictions.

Todd Rizzo is currently on death row for bludgeoning Santo's 13-year-old cousin Stanley Edwards IV to death with a sledgehammer in Waterbury, and Santo says Rizzo and the eight other men awaiting execution on Connecticut's death row are deserving of their fate.

"If a person is guilty of a pre-meditated murder, if he planned it out and executed it, he should be executed," said Santo, a former state senator.

State legislators are considering repealing the death penalty. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he would sign legislation abolishing the state's death penalty. He said this legislation would have no affect the fate of those who are currently on death row or pending death penalty cases.

Ten men are currently on death row in the state, and one of the inmates, 64-year-old double murderer Robert Breton, has awaited execution since 1989. Connecticut has executed just one death row prisoner -- serial rapist-murderer Michael Ross -- in the past four-and-a-half decades.

Convicted triple-murderer Christopher DiMeo and Joshua Komisarjevsky, who is charged with killing three members of the Petit family in a 2007 home invasion in Cheshire, may soon join the state's ten death row inmates, as both men have pending capital felony cases.

Many opponents of the death penalty point out that housing death row inmates costs significantly more than making the prisoners serve life without parole in general population.

Some family members of murder victims told lawmakers at a Capital hill news conference on Feb. 9 that they feel differently about the death penalty than Dr. William Petit, whose wife and two daughters were killed in the Cheshire home invasion.

Petit has been a staunch proponent for keeping the state's capital punishment law.

The family members are voicing support for repealing the state's death penalty, saying the lengthy and difficult legal process can be emotionally punishing for the families.

Having sat through some of Rizzo's court dates, Santo knows the judicial process can be frustrating for victims' families. Rizzo has continually tried to have his death sentence lowered to life in prison, citing the fact that he was just 18-years-old at the time of the murder.

Santo remembers sitting ten feet away from Rizzo in a Waterbury courtroom, and he recalls the anger he felt when Rizzo's lawyer requested that the court marshals remove the shackles from his client's ankles.

"It was really weird looking at him," he said. "He didn't know who I was. He looked like anyone else, even though he was a murderer. I was upset that he was shackled, and his lawyer argued to take the shackles off."

Santo empathizes with the family members of the men serving death sentences.

"I feel for them," he said. "I wouldn't want to know how they feel. If it were my son or daughter that committed a murder and they were sentenced to death, I'd do anything I could to save them."

Still, Santo says life sentences are unfitting as punishment for the brutal crimes committed by the convicted murderers who are currently on death row.

"I don't look at prison as rehabilitation," he said. "I look at it as punishment. The death penalty is a form of punishment. For society, does it have a redeeming value? I don't know."

Darien resident Robert Perske, an advocate for the mentally handicapped in the criminal justice system, is a bit guarded about his opinion on the death penalty, as he often works on cases that go before judges who are death penalty advocates.

Perske said when he is unable to effectively advocate for persons with mental disabilities, he may join an anti-death penalty group.

"In my heart of hearts, I think the death penalty serves no real purpose," he said.

Perske, who began working with the mentally handicapped in 1959, has helped exonerate 75 mentally handicapped persons who falsely confessed to rapes and murders. Six of the persons were condemned to death due to the serious nature of the crime for which they were convicted.

"I've had guys saying, 'At the police station, you don't waive at wrongs. You waive at the rights,'" he said.

Perske conducted more than 30 years of research on Joe Arridy, a wrongfully convicted mentally handicapped man who was executed in 1939. His findings are chronicled in the book Deadly Innocence, and he played a major role in outgoing Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's posthumous pardon of Arridy in January of this year.

Executions of the mentally handicapped have been prevented through advancements in interrogation techniques and the 2002 Supreme Court case Atkins vs. Virginia, in which the justices ruled that executing the mentally handicapped violates the Eighth Amendment, according to Perske.

Despite his work in the criminal justice system, Perske's take on the death penalty is not rooted in his experiences with wrongfully convicted persons. When he explains his opinion on the death penalty, he tries to conjure the pain he would incur if someone murdered his wife.

"Would I need revenge? Would I need to take a human life?" asks Perske. "Would it bring her back? Would it solve anything? The answer is no."













Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

JTiscool

The death penalty can also be a useful tool for plea bargaining and saving the victim's families the pain of going through a trial. I hope the death penalty doesn't get abolished. I wish the old Governor was there, not this anti.
My reason for supporting the death penalty? A murderer has less of a right to live than his victim and already presents a danger while incarcerated for life. They have nothing to lose when the most they can get is Life in prison without parole.

AnneTheBelgian

#24
March 07, 2011, 10:22:26 AM Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 10:41:19 AM by AnneTheBelgian
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704504404576184692540176926.html

* MARCH 7, 2011

Death Penalty Under Review

Associated Press

Monday,March 7, 2011

HARTFORD, Conn.--Connecticut lawmakers are returning to the issue of repealing the state's death penalty.

The General Assembly's Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing Monday where members will hear testimony on a bill that would replace capital punishment with life in prison without the possibility of release for certain murders.

The proposal before the committee would affect only those crimes committed on or after the new legislation would become law.

Legislators passed a similar bill in 2009 but then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, vetoed it.

This time around, proponents are optimistic because Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, opposes the death penalty and has said he would sign such a bill.

Lawyer Barry Scheck, known for his work with the New York Innocence Project that seeks to exonerate individuals wrongfully convicted, is expected to testify in favor of repeal.








Other article : http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/on_air/gmc_weekend/public-hearing-to-repeal-cts-death-penalty

(with video => interview)

Public Hearing to repeal CT's death penalty

Updated: Sunday, 06 Mar 2011, 1:01 PM EST

Published : Sunday, 06 Mar 2011, 1:01 PM EST

New Haven, Conn (WTNH) - New Haven State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield, and Chris DeSanctis, Adjunct Professor of Government and Politics at Sacred Heart University, joined GMC Weekend to discuss repealing Connecticut's death penalty.

On Monday, the legislature's Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill to repeal the death penalty in Connecticut.

Two years ago, Governor Rell vetoed the bill after it passed both houses of the legislature, but now, Governor Dannel Malloy has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

Although the most recent Quinnipiac survey (October 2010) showed 65% in CT supporting the death penalty, it is important to note that when people were asked about the alternative sentence of life in prison with no possibility of release support for the death penalty dropped dramatically to 46% of voters supporting the death penalty, while 41% prefer life imprisonment. Quinnipiac believes this shows CT residents are mostly split on the issue.










Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

AnneTheBelgian

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/11764/wyman-could-be-crucial-death-penalty-paid-sick-days

Wyman could be crucial on death penalty, paid sick days

March 7, 2011

By Mark Pazniokas

If Connecticut is to abolish the death penalty this year, the deciding vote in the Senate most likely will belong to the presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Nancy S. Wyman. The same is true of a bill mandating private employers to provide paid six days.

The best that proponents of either controversial measure can manage this year appears to be an 18-18 tie in the Senate, giving Wyman two relatively rare opportunities to cast tie-breaking votes in her first year in office.

Wyman, one of the state's most popular Democrats, said she has no reluctance being identified as the deciding vote on either issue.

"It's something we talked about during the campaign," Wyman said of the two pieces of legislation. "It's something I believe in. Those are very, very easy."

Now, all they have to do is make it to a vote in the Senate.

The legislature's Judiciary Committee today is holding a public hearing on the death penalty, the beginning of the second try in three years to make capital crimes in Connecticut punishable by life in prison without possibility of parole.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed a bill in 2009 that would have abolished the death penalty for future crimes. The bill was written prospectively as not to affect the prosecutions of the two defendants in the Cheshire home invasion and triple homicide.

It passed easily in the House, 90 to 56, but the Senate vote was close, 19 to 17. Two Democrats who voted for repeal have since been replaced by two Republican supporters of capital punishment, leaving the abolition camp short one vote.

Sen. Theresa Gerratana, D-New Britain, who recently succeeded a Democratic death penalty supporter, has not declared her position, but she is believed by proponents of the abolition bill to be inclined toward becoming the 18th vote in favor of passage.

And that would set up Wyman as the tie-breaking vote.

Wyman, who was elected last fall as Dannel P. Malloy's running mate, served in the House of Representatives for eight years before her election as comptroller in 1994. She said she has voted to abolish the death penalty before.

"I've never believed in the death penalty. I believe in abolishing it. I've always said that. I've always voted that way in the legislature," Wyman said. "And I don't believe that people should come to work sick."

The Senate passed the sick days bill, 20 to 16, in 2008. But two Democrats who voted yes, Colapietro of Bristol and Thomas P. Gaffey of Meriden, have since been succeeded by Republican opponents, Jason Welch and Len Suzio.

Those losses would create an 18 to 18 tie, but two other votes also are doubt.

Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, succeeded Democrat Jonathan Harris last fall. He voted yes in 2008, but Bye voted against the bill as a House member in 2009. Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, voted for paid sick days in 2008, but he is now undecided. Both need to vote yes to create a tie for Wyman.

She would not be the first lieutenant governor to cast a deciding vote on a controversial issue.

At 3 a.m. on Aug. 22, 1991, Lt. Gov. Eunice S. Groark broke an 18-18 tie to pass the income tax.  Her boss, Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, laughed and proclaimed she was responsible for the "Groark income tax," but the name never stuck.

Groak's role faded from public memory. Weicker still is credited and blamed for the passage of the state's first tax on wages.













Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

JTiscool

Well......that sucks.
My reason for supporting the death penalty? A murderer has less of a right to live than his victim and already presents a danger while incarcerated for life. They have nothing to lose when the most they can get is Life in prison without parole.

AnneTheBelgian

http://www.theday.com/article/20110308/NWS12/303089928/1018

March 8, 2011

Death penalty repeal likely would have unintended consequence

By Kenton Robinson

Publication: The Day

Published 03/08/2011 12:00 AM

Updated 03/08/2011 03:02 PM

Hartford - Asked if he would sign into law a bill that would repeal the death penalty for all future capital cases, even though experts agree it would give those already on death row grounds to appeal their sentences, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday he would.

"Let's be very clear. We do not have a workable death penalty in the state of Connecticut today. Period," Malloy said. "There are two people on death row who have been on death row for over 20 years ... The only person to be put to death in the state of Connecticut did so voluntarily.

"So, really, we just have to be honest about the conversation we're having when it comes to the death penalty," he said. "I've stated over and over and over again what my position is. I want to be very clear that if such a bill was to come to me, I will sign it. But let's not pretend we have a workable death penalty in the state of Connecticut."

Malloy was asked if he would agree with the assessment of Chief Public Defender Susan O. Storey and Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane that if the death penalty were to be abolished, it would be very unlikely that the sentences of those currently on death row would ever be carried out.

"I'm not sure I would agree with that," he said. "Would people appeal on that basis? Of course. But they're appealing on every basis. That's why we have two people on death row who have been on death row for more than 20 years."

Storey and Kane told the Judiciary Committee Monday that any "prospective" law that repealed the death penalty for future capital cases would likely result in appeals by death row inmates that would overturn their sentences. And that is the bill that is currently before the committee.

There are currently 10 people on death row, including, most recently Steven Hayes, sentenced in November for murdering the family of Dr. William Petit Jr. of Cheshire in the summer of 2007.

Speakers before the legislature's Judiciary Committee Monday agreed on one thing during their testimony: Repeal the death penalty for all future capital crimes, and those already on death row will probably never be executed.

The bill before the committee is "prospective," meaning it would only apply to future cases.

But both the chief public defender and the chief state's attorney admitted to the committee that it would, in effect, be retroactive as well.

In response to the question put to her by Sen. Michael A. McLachlan, R-Danbury - "If the death penalty were repealed, would you appeal for those on death row? - Chief Public Defender Susan O. Storey put it plainly, "We would be ethically bound to do so."

After all, both she and Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane, a prickly advocate of the death penalty, recognized that there would be ample grounds for such an appeal.

"I think you need to know when you're considering your votes on this what's real and what's not," Kane said. "What this law would do would create two classes of people. One class would be subject to the death penalty; the other class would not, and that would not be because of the nature of the crime or the nature of the defendant; it would be because of the date on which the crime occurred."

And that kind of arbitrary distinction, Kane said, was extremely unlikely to hold up in court.

State Sen. John A. Kissell, R-Enfield, agreed.

"It is my belief that even if we passed a law that states it is prospective only, we would have formed the basis for an appeal regarding all those folks that are on death row right now," he said. "It's my belief that there's a great likelihood, if not certainty, that the death penalty would never be visited on anyone who's on death row today."

And when Dr. William Petit Jr. of Cheshire, whose wife and daughters were murdered by Steven Hayes and, allegedly, Joshua Komisarjevsky, on the morning of July 23, 2007, sat before the committee to testify, Kissell drew on that case to make his point.

"No matter how it's worded, it would actually form the basis to eliminate the death penalty for those sitting on death row. That would affect Mr. Hayes (who was sentenced to death in November)," Kissell said. "Dr. Petit just went through that trial, and at the same time the trial of Mr. Komisarjevsky is going forward. I mean ... at the end of the day, the death penalty ... would be thrown out on appeal."

Petit had come to testify on another bill: one that would give families of murder victims the right to give an "impact statement" at the trial of their murderers.

"Last year I sat through the capital murder trial of one of the men who murdered my family," Petit said. "After the jury found the man guilty on almost all counts ... his lawyer called all kinds of so-called mitigation witnesses ... in an effort to provoke human sympathy for the defendant before the jury that would decide his fate.

"In response, I had hoped to tell the story about the memorable lives and accomplishments of my wife, Jennifer, a nurse of 26 years when she was murdered, my daughter, Hayley Elizabeth, 17 years old and headed to Dartmouth College. She should be graduating this June ... and Michaela Rose, only 11 years old and headed into middle school.

"I thought Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela, who will never again speak for themselves, should be humanized as much as the man who murdered them," Petit said.

But, he said, he was not allowed to do so, because state law does not clearly allow survivors of capital murders to present victim impact statements to sentencing juries prior to their deliberations. He was warned, Petit said, that if he tried to give such a statement, it could lead to an appeal and "another painful sentencing trial."

Throughout the day, arguments for and against the death penalty covered familiar ground.

Against: That it costs far more to litigate than it costs to litigate a life sentence.

"There really is a cost-benefit analysis that I feel it is incumbent on you to review," Storey told the committee. "The budget implications are extraordinary. The cost of the death penalty just for the division of public defender services ... is currently $3.4 million just for our agency in the last fiscal year."

And that the years and years it takes for a death penalty case to wend its way through appeal after appeal only brings unrelenting grief to the families of the victims. Several cited the case of serial killer Michael Ross, who was executed in May 2005, nearly 21 years after he was arrested for his crimes, and then only because he decided to drop his appeals.

Storey again: "Victims' families have not seen finality. I think you've learned from survivors of homicides ... that have learned from that struggle that that lengthy struggle did not serve those families well. What life without the possibility of release does give as an option is finality."

For: In the words of Kane, when asked by state Rep. Gary A. Holder-Winfield, D-New Haven, what he considered the value of the death penalty, "There are crimes ... which are so horrendous that the public has the right to have us as prosecutors seek the highest penalty that the law permits.

"I think, with regard to human beings being on the face of the earth, there was a substantial amount of our life over the years where a death penalty was probably necessary for the survival of civilization," Kane added.

State Rep. Ernest Hewett, D-New London, had a simpler observation: "I think the death penalty was put in place for one purpose only, and that was to punish the person who committed the crime. That's just my opinion. Now the people that have been put to death already, I can promise you one thing: They won't ever kill again. ... Thank you."











Photo : Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane speaks to the legislature's Judicial Committee on capital punishment (Jessica Hill/AP Photo)












Anne

"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

AnneTheBelgian

http://middletownpress.com/articles/2011/03/10/news/doc4d78f3800fd0d330577214.txt

Poll shows growing support for Connecticut's death penalty

Published: Thursday, March 10, 2011

HARTFORD (AP) -- A new statewide poll released Thursday shows support for Connecticut's death penalty is growing among voters, despite efforts by some legislators to abolish capital punishment.

Sixty-seven percent of registered voters favor the death penalty, a new high for the state, according to Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. An earlier Quinnipiac survey in October found 65 percent supported the death penalty.

The 2007 home invasion in Cheshire, where a mother and her two daughters were killed, appears to have generated support for the death penalty. A 2005 poll showed 59 percent supported capital punishment, Schwartz said.

"Historically, voters favor the death penalty about two-to-one when they are asked a simple yes-no question. When they are offered the choice, however, between the death penalty and life in prison with no chance of parole, voters have been evenly divided," Schwartz said. "In Connecticut, the Cheshire home invasion murders appear to have changed that. Now voters back the death penalty no matter how we ask the question."

The General Assembly's Judiciary Committee this week held a public hearing on legislation that would abolish the death penalty for crimes committed when or after the repeal takes effect. A similar bill passed in 2009 but then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed it. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy reiterated this week that he would sign such legislation into law.

Both the chief state's attorney and the chief public defender warned state lawmakers that making the repeal prospective will not guarantee that the 10 men on death row will still be executed. They said challenges could be brought questioning the legality of creating two classes of people, one subject to the death penalty and the other not.

Thursday's poll shows that 74 percent of voters support the death penalty for Steven Hayes, one of the two suspects in the Cheshire case who was convicted and sentenced to death last year. Seventy-two percent of voters support the death penalty for Hayes' co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky, who still faces trial and has not been found guilty.

The same poll shows 79 percent of voters support allowing a doctor to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes. Sixty-five percent support decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, a proposal made by Malloy.

Voters also back proposed legislation that would allow liquor stores to open on Sundays by a 66 percent to 31 percent margin. Schwartz said that marks the highest level of support for the question. Last March, 56 percent supported Sunday sales while 39 percent opposed it. Malloy has said he supports Sunday liquor sales.

Fifty percent of voters oppose allowing grocery stores to sell wine or hard liquor, while 43 percent support the idea.

The telephone survey of 1,693 voters, conducted March 1 through 7, has a margin of sampling error of 2.4 percentage points.













Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

CSA FD

steven hayes sentenced to death in Ct. 2010 for the 2007, home invasion, rape/murders of Jennifer Hawke Pettit, 48, daughters Micheala, 11, and Hayley 17.
Justice for Jennifer Lee Hampton, murdered, Sept. 2008, by illegal alien.


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