CONNECTICUT (USA): STATE HOUSE VOTES TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY
May 13, 2009: The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill that replaces the state's death penalty with a life sentence without the chance of parole.
The historic vote, 90-56, came after more than five hours of passionate debate.
The legislation now moves to the Senate, where its chances for passage are considered questionable.
Despite the House vote, the chances of the death penalty being eliminated in Connecticut are slim. Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell repeated her support for capital punishment this week as the House prepared for the debate.
"I have always said that I support the death penalty because I do believe that there are some crimes that are so heinous that the death penalty is the only option," Rell told reporters at the state Capitol complex. "I believe in the death penalty.
While she maintained her traditional practice of declining to use the term "veto," Rell made it clear that she supports the current law.
Additionally, the winning margin in the House fell short of the 101 votes that would be needed to override a Rell veto.
The bill, which recently passed the Judiciary Committee 24-13, would not affect the 10 killers on the state's death row. (Sources: Courant.com, 13/05/2009)