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Death Penalty Repeal Goes To Connecticut Governor

Publication Date: 
April 11, 2012
Source: 
The New York Times
Author: 
Peter Applebome

A study by Professor John Donohue reviewing 34 years of Connecticut death penalty cases is mentioned by Peter Appleborne in this New York Times article regarding a vote by the state's House of Representatives to appeal the death penalty.

After more than nine hours of debate, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to repeal the state’s death penalty, following a similar vote in the State Senate last week. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, has said he will sign the bill, which would make Connecticut the 17th state — the 5th in five years — to abolish capital punishment for future cases.

Mr. Malloy’s signature will leave New Hampshire and Pennsylvania as the only states in the Northeast that still have the death penalty. New Jersey repealed it in 2007. New York’s statute was ruled unconstitutional by the state’s highest court in 2004, and lawmakers have not moved to fix the law.

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But Democrats in favor of the bill cited support from many families of murder victims and the fact that capital punishment has long been banned by nearly all of the world’s democracies. In a review of 34 years of Connecticut death penalty cases, Prof. John Donohue of Stanford Law School concluded that “arbitrariness and discrimination are defining features of the state’s capital punishment regime.”