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Hartford - Asked if he would sign into law a bill that would repeal the death penalty for all future capital cases, even though experts agree it would give those already on death row grounds to appeal their sentences, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday he would.
"Let's be very clear. We do not have a workable death penalty in the state of Connecticut today. Period," Malloy said. "There are two people on death row who have been on death row for over 20 years … The only person to be put to death in the state of Connecticut did so voluntarily.
"So, really, we just have to be honest about the conversation we're having when it comes to the death penalty," he said. "I've stated over and over and over again what my position is. I want to be very clear that if such a bill was to come to me, I will sign it. But let's not pretend we have a workable death penalty in the state of Connecticut."
The governor made his comments the day after a public hearing before the legislature's Judiciary Committee on a proposed bill that would repeal the death penalty for all future capital crimes. The hearing lasted more than 12 hours.
Malloy was asked if he would agree with the assessment of Chief Public Defender Susan O. Storey and Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane that if the death penalty were to be abolished, it would be very unlikely that the sentences of those currently on death row would ever be carried out.
"I'm not sure I would agree with that," he said. "Would people appeal on that basis? Of course. But they're appealing on every basis. That's why we have two people on death row who have been on death row for more than 20 years."