Relatives of murder victims support death penalty repeal

Hartford - Relatives of murder victims gathered in the Capitol this morning to urge speedy passage of a death penalty repeal bill.

"If our legislators really care about us, they will get rid of the death penalty once and for all," said Elizabeth Brancato of Torrington, whose mother, Barbara McKitis, was raped and murdered in 1979.

Nearly two-dozen family members at the news conference stood in support of ending capital punishment, some holding framed photographs of their murdered loved ones.

The prospects for death penalty legislation have improved since last year with the end of the Cheshire home invasion trials and sentencings.

The last execution in Connecticut was that of rapist and strangler Michael Ross, who was killed by lethal injection in 2005. Prior to that, Joseph "Mad Dog" Taborsky was executed by electric chair in 1960.

"Take us off this roller coaster of endless appeals in a state where no one gets executed, but where families of murder victims have to keep getting dragged back into court for decades for no real result," Brancato said.

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Should Connecticut lawmakers repeal the state's death penalty?

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I have mixed feelings on this issue

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Number of votes: 556