HARTFORD, Conn. – Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the death penalty “no longer serves any legitimate penological purpose,” violates the state constitution, and should be abolished for the 11 men who remain on death row.
“Upon careful consideration of the defendant’s claims in light of the governing constitutional principles and Connecticut’s unique historical and legal landscape, we are persuaded that, following its prospective abolition, this state’s death penalty no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency and no longer serves any legitimate penological purpose,” Justice Richard Palmer wrote in the majority decision.
It was a 4-3 decision. Chief Justice Chase Rogers, Justice Peter Zarella, and Justice Carmen Espinosa wrote separate dissenting opinions, while Justices Flemming Norcott, Dennis Eveleigh, and Andrew McDonald joined Palmer in the majority decision.
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