Thursday, April 05, 2012

Connecticut Senate votes to repeal death penalty

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Hangman’s noose

In which the Nutmeg States is set to become the fifth in as many years to (slightly) reduce the government’s ability to decide who gets to live or die:

The Connecticut Senate on Thursday voted to repeal the death penalty, setting the stage for Connecticut to join several states that have recently abolished capital punishment.

In the last five years, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Illinois have repealed the death penalty. California voters will decide the issue in November.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is also expected to pass. Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, has vowed to sign the measure into law should it reach his desk, his office said.

The state courts have handed down 15 death sentences in the last 36 years, only one of which was actually carried out. This same gross and costly inefficiency is pretty much standard across the country, which I believe tells us more than a little about the problems of trying to play God with people’s lives in this modern age of omnipresent bureaucracy and deteriorating criminal justice systems.

As has been said before, my opposition to capital punishment is more ideological and practical than emotional. I have absolutely zero sympathy for any dangerous and incorrigible criminals being put down. The problem is in identifying who is actually dangerous and incorrigible. As evidenced by the ever-rising number of wrongful convictions resulting in the execution of people who were most likely innocent, not to mention the equally lengthening line of convicts being cleared of all charges thanks to DNA testing and the likes, there is simply far too much uncertainty inherent to the whole process for anyone with a critical and humane mind to go along with. And that’s not even mentioning the issue of how insanely and wastefully expensive it is to keep convicts on death row in the first place.

Really, killing anyone for any reason other than immediate self-defense should be prohibited, regardless of the killer’s status as a private citizen or an agent of the criminal-legal system.

(via ThinkProgress)