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May 29, 2009

Efforts in Connecticut to convince Governor Rell to sign death penalty repeal bill

This local article from Connecticut, headlined "Groups try to persuade Rell to abolish death penalty," highlights some of on-going work by what might be called the abolitionist lobby:

Opponents of the death penalty began a campaign Thursday to persuade Gov. M. Jodi Rell to sign a bill that would end capital punishment in Connecticut. Defense lawyers, human rights activists and church leaders from throughout the state asked the Republican governor to reconsider her pledge to veto the legislation, which was approved in historic votes in the House and Senate over the last two weeks.

While a new Quinnipiac University Poll indicated Thursday that 61 percent of the state wants to keep the death penalty, defense lawyers -- during a news conference that featured the author of "Dead Man Walking" in a teleconference from Iowa -- said the survey was flawed. The lawyers noted that a quarter of capital-punishment supporters in the Q Poll seem to erroneously believe that keeping murderers behind bars for life is more expensive than executing them after decades of expensive appeals.

First-term Rep. Gary A. Holder-Winfield, a New Haven lawmaker who had a private, half-hour-long meeting with Rell this week, said she seemed interested in the issues, but doubts she'll change her mind when the bill gets to her desk over the next couple of weeks.

An executive with the national office of the NAACP said in an interview that Rell should consider the racial implications of a tradition linked to the violent lynchings in the Deep South.

Meanwhile, Rell's communications office said that since the Senate voted May 22 to repeal the death penalty, the governor's office has received 1,141 e-mails asking her to sign the legislation and 359 asking for a veto.  Chris Cooper, her spokesman, said about 400 phone calls were received, most asking her to sign the bill.  About three dozen pieces of mail have been about 2-1 in favor of the repeal.

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May 29, 2009 at 03:17 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Ending the death penalty gives absolute immunity for all crimes after the first murder.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 29, 2009 4:47:03 PM

Scotus: So I guess we ought to get rid of the death penalty and then make life in prison *with* parole the punishment for a first murder, and reserve LWOP for all murders after that.

Posted by: dm | May 29, 2009 4:57:17 PM

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