Connecticut House, Senate Vote to End Death Penalty

UPDATE: On April 25, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed the death penalty repeal, making Connecticut the 17th state to end the death penalty. Click here to listen to President Jealous discuss why the NAACP applauds the death penalty repeal.

On April 11 -- after years of pressure from the Connecticut NAACP and other civil and human rights groups -- the Connecticut House of Representatives voted to repeal the state’s death penalty. The House vote follows a similar vote in the State Senate the previous week.

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has indicated that he will sign the bill, which would make Connecticut the 17th state — and the fifth in five years — to end the death penalty.

"Connecticut's legislature voted to abolish capital punishment for all the right reasons: the death penalty discriminates against people of color and poor people of all colors, and it is a profound waste of scarce law enforcement resources,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “By abolishing the death penalty, Connecticut will have more dollars to hire detectives to solve unsolved homicides and hire counselors to help murder victim family members."

“This vote puts Connecticut on the cusp of a creating a paradigm shift in the American justice system,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock.  “This vote moves Connecticut and the country away from a misguided 'tough on crime' approach to justice, to a 'smart on crime' approach that is moral, just, and cost-effective for its citizens.  We are confident this will mark the beginning of a new era of states that will bring an end to the death penalty.”

The NAACP has been working with civil rights leaders in Connecticut for several years to repeal the death penalty. The fight against the death penalty in the state has been in full swing since the unjust execution of Troy Davis. In November 2011 -- two months after Troy's execution -- Troy's sister Kim joined President Jealous in Stamford, Connecticut to advocate for the repeal of the death penalty. Two weeks ago, President Jealous returned to the State Capitol to reinforce the message that the death penalty has no place in Connecticut, or the United States.

“This vote virtually ensures that the repugnant practice of capital punishment will no longer a part of Connecticut culture,” stated Connecticut NAACP State Conference President Scot X. Esdaile. “I look forward to watching Governor Malloy sign this repeal bill into law.”

Opponents of the death penalty need the practice to be outlawed in 26 states to make an appeal to the Supreme Court that the death penalty is biased and unconstitutional, and needs to be banned in the United States. With 17 states banning the practice, nine more states are needed to achieve a simple majority.

To join the NAACP as we continue our fight to end the death penalty in the United States, and honor Troy Davis' last wish, text TROY to 62227*.

*Msg & Data rates may apply. Text HELP for more info or STOP to end.