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Petit: Conn. Should Not Repeal Death Penalty

Hartford legislators are expected to vote on whether to end capital punishment in Connecticut today.

 

Dr. William Petit, whose wife and two young daughters were , spoke this morning against State Senate Democrats' plan to end capital punishment in Connecticut. 

"We believe in the death penalty because we believe it is really the only true just punishment for certain heinous and depraved murders,'' Petit said, according to The Hartford Courtant.

If the bill is passed as is, the 11 people currently on death row — including Steven Hayes and Joshua Komirsarjevsky, who murdered Petit's family — would still be executed. Culprits of a crime similar to the Cheshire murders would face a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

(R-28), who represents Easton, , Newtown and Fairfield, spoke out against the bill, according to The Courant. 

"The people who are offering it today rejected it in the judiciary committee, so I suspect it's [being] used as a political tool to help flip some votes," he said. "The idea that the death penalty can be repealed prospectively only...and that our action today will ensure the 11 murders currently serving on death row will one day face execution is a mere fallacy."

According to the Wall Street Journal, 34 states use the death penalty and in the past five years, three states have voted to ban the punishment. Only one person has been executed in more than 40 years. Michael Ross, a serial killer who preyed on young girls and women, was executed in 2005.

—Anthony Karge contributed to this report.

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