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CT Supreme Court Rejects Request to Reconsider Death Penalty

Nineteen states have abolished the death penalty. Credit: Florida Department of Corrections/
Nineteen states have abolished the death penalty. Credit: Florida Department of Corrections/
October 9, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Connecticut Supreme Court on Thursday ended efforts to revive the state's death penalty by rejecting a request to reconsider its August ruling that capital punishment is unconstitutional.

Prosecutors had filed a motion to reargue the case, saying the majority opinion referred to racial disparities that had not been part of the case.

John Kardaras, president of the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty, said this ruling settles the issue once and for all.

"The impact of it is that the death penalty is barred forever in the state as a matter of state constitutional law," he said, "that there is no capital punishment in Connecticut and that it cannot be reinstated."

Capital punishment was repealed by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2012, but that didn't apply to those who already had been sentenced to death. The Supreme Court's ruling means those 11 prisoners on death row can not be executed.

While the goal of eliminating capital punishment in the state has been met, Kardaras said, his organization's work will continue.

"We're going to concentrate our efforts in places like New Hampshire, Deleware, who are close to abolishing the death penalty and assist where we can," he said.

Nineteen states have ended capital punishment and four others have put executions on hold, but federal courts in any state can still impose the death penalty.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT