Connecticut Supreme Court Rules that The Death Penalty is Unconstitutional

The state supreme court in Connecticut has just decided that the death penalty is a violation of the state constitution and has put an end to the state’s death row sparing the lives of 11 inmates sentenced to die, reports say.

In a close 4-3 vote the court decided that the death penalty was illegal and that decision allowed all inmates sentenced to death before recent legislation ending the death penalty to escape their sentence.

Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer wrote for the majority:

“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. For these reasons, execution of those offenders who committed capital felonies prior to April 25, 2012, would violate the state constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.”
As The Associated Press reports, “The ruling comes in an appeal from a 12th inmate, Eduardo Santiago, whose attorneys had argued that any execution carried out after the 2012 repeal would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Santiago, whose first sentence was overturned, faced a second penalty hearing and the possibility of lethal injection for a 2000 murder-for-hire killing in West Hartford.”

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The justices ordered a new penalty phase for Santiago, saying the trial judge failed to disclose “significant and relevant” mitigating evidence for jury consideration before jurors decided in 2005 to send Santiago to death row for the killing of Joseph Niwinski.

The Hartford Courant notes that “the last person to be executed in Connecticut was serial killer Michael Ross, and that execution occurred in 2005 only after Ross waged a legal fight to end his appeals and to have the sentence imposed.”

Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed the capital punishment according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

It won’t be long, now, before the death penalty is outlawed in all 50 states.

Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's, and all Breitbart News' other sites,,, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.

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