Death Penalty on the Table

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the death penalty, a sentence far more often handed down than actually carried out. In fact, Connecticut’s last actual execution came in 2005 (and it’s only one in something like 50 years), after an awful lot of hand-wringing, deliberations, and even last-minute attempts to ban the death penalty.

The death penalty seems like something Connecticut is fine with in concept, but actual executions make us a little more queasy.

Now the death penalty is under consideration again. The arguments for keeping executions as an option are that the death penalty acts as a deterrent, and that it’s better (and cheaper) to rid society of certain people once and for all, instead of letting them languish in prison for years. The argument against is that capital punishment is cruel, that it doesn’t work as a deterrent at all, and that the endless appeals process ends up costing the state far more money than lifetime imprisonment would. These are simplified arguments, of course, and I know that much more elaborate arguments for both sides will be made in the comments.

In any event, a bill to eliminate the death penalty passed the Judiciary Committee back in March, and legislators are expected to debate the measure soon. What do you think?

[poll id=”22″]

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10 responses to “Death Penalty on the Table

  1. Bruce Rubenstein

    I am against the death penalty for all the known reasons mentioned before in past posts….Society has found innocent men guilty before…look at the releases now with DNA testing…..its imperfect and no deterrant to abating crime. Many countries in Europe have done away with the death penalty and their murder rate is lower then ours.

  2. I am against the death penalty for all the known reasons mentioned before in past posts….Society has found innocent men guilty before…look at the releases now with DNA testing…..its imperfect and no deterrant to abating crime.

    Yes – and it cost’s generally twice as much due to endless appeals.

    How about putting citizens and taxpayers first instead?

    Is that too bizarre a concept?

  3. I believe there are some crimes that are so abhorrent and beyond the pale that in limited circumstances society is warranted in applying the death penalty. However, once society decides that the death penalty should be allowed there is a clear responsibility to ensure that its application is fair and consistent, and that the guilt of those sentenced to death is indisputable.

    Society has found innocent men guilty before…look at the releases now with DNA testing…

    With the forensic tools available to law enforcement today thanks to technological advances in fields such as DNA analysis there is a greater number of cases where guilt can be indisputably determined. In those few cases where the crime is so offensive (ex. the horrific 2007 murders in Cheshire) AND guilt can be indisputably determined by forensic evidence I believe the death penalty should be considered.

  4. First we really do not have the death penalty in this state, maybe on the books but that’s about it.

    I would call for a state wide referendum and let the voters decide. I for one think it’s a crime to lock these viruses up on my dime. If I were put in charge the “house” would be cleaned in a week and then I would be the only one on “death row”.

  5. I believe there are some crimes that are so abhorrent and beyond the pale that in limited circumstances society is warranted in applying the death penalty.

    Think it all the way through Adam.

    With no death penalty “lifers” wind up in the general prison population.
    In such an environment they can quite literally kill with impunity.

    Someone in for something really heinous probably won’t last long anyway.
    Jeffrey Dahmer makes an excellent example.

    I have no strong moral or religious objections to the death penalty; but saving the taxpayers some money seems like a good idea.

  6. The death penalty seems like something Connecticut is fine with in concept, but actual executions make us a little more queasy.

    As it should. We recognize that taking a life is wrong, and that innate human morality isn’t easily ignored, even when it is done by the state. If we aren’t going to abolish the death penalty in the state, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to change the jury rules in capital cases so that the jury that hands down a death charge is bound to witness the execution. Responsibility for actions all around.

  7. Aron Semaj

    I can’t believe that year after year, the Democrat leadership cedes its power to Mike Lawlor.

    In a year of financial crisis, job losses, potential tax increases of billions of dollars, business closings, foreclosures, and everything else that could go wrong, Democrats should do things to bring the state together. Instead, it looks like they are going to allow Lawlor to lead the way on yet another one of his divisive issues that rips people apart – not just Democrats vs Republicans, but Dems vs Dems and Republicans vs Republicans.

    This does nothing to help the person who can’t afford health insurance because he just lost his job, or the person who can’t pay his mortgage. These are the kinds of things that families are facing every day.

    By the way, I believe the death penalty was upheld in 2005 by the legislature. Is the gold dome going to crumble if the legislature doesn’t take up the death penalty for a couple years? Opponents recognize the endless delays before carrying out death sentences. It’s not like waiting a couple years is going to impact anyone. And, it would allow representatives to focus on what’s important – the budget, jobs, and the economy.

    But that won’t happen. Instead, Democrats will allow Lawlor a chance to repair his strained relationship with the Catholic Church by giving him (once again) the spotlight in the debate on the death penalty – an issue broadly opposed by Catholics.

  8. I don’t see death penalty as a deterrent; I see it as a big, fat waste of money and resources. Aren’t we trying to save money in this state right now?

  9. The death penalty should be easier to deliver when guilt is undeniable. I’m thinking the horrific Cheshire murders.

    No, we shouldn’t use it like Texas and Olahoma, but there are times it is waranted, in my opinion.

  10. The death penalty should be easier to deliver when guilt is undeniable. I’m thinking the horrific Cheshire murders.

    Let them wander about in the general prison population for 10 minutes or so.

    Cheaper, faster and no lengthy appeals.

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