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Patch's Poll: Should CT Repeal the Death Penalty?

General Assembly considering the change

Last year, the Connecticut General Assembly , in the midst of the Cheshire home invasion trials.

At the time, , and if it had a place in our state.

Now, .

What do you think now? Should the state repeal the death penalty law? Take our poll and add your thoughts in the comments.

Jason Glenn February 24, 2012 at 02:16 PM
It's still more expensive than a bullet, needle, or noose.
Dana McFee February 24, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Hi Christine, I don't recall the case you refer to ,but here's details of the Jerry M Daniels case.......Jerry Daniels went to the Norwich home of Christine Whipple at about 1 a.m. on Oct. 22, 1984, looking for another woman he thought would be there. He refused to leave when Whipple, 20, asked him to, and a struggle ensued. Daniels took a knife and stabbed her several times in the chest after she had fled into her bedroom. Whipple's 3-year-old daughter, sleeping in the same room, woke up and began screaming, "Mommy. Mommy." With the mother still alive, Daniels slit the child's throat, nearly decapitating her. Daniels then raped Whipple and stabbed her to death. The jury deadlocked 6-6 on whether Daniels' abuse-riddled childhood should be considered a mitigating factor worthy of mercy. He was sentenced to 130 years in prison.
Mark D. Wiggins February 24, 2012 at 03:19 PM
The death penalty is a deterrent, but not all the time. It is a penalty, pure and simple, reserved for those who have chosen to commit the most heinous crimes. Those can be argued. One thing that cannot be argued is that the death penalty is a tool that the prosecutor has to entice confessions and cooperation. Like it or not, many criminals have pleaded to save their life (like the cowards hey are) saving the agony of a trial for the families and saving millions in court fees. As for me...it should be for only slam dunk cases, i.e.multiple witnesses, video evidence etc. Then, a swift execution is just. Give the justice department ample assets and make quick rulings in the appeal process and carry out the execution with in 12 months of sentencing. 10 to 20 years on death row is a joke and shows what a mockery our justice system has become.
Fred Allyn III February 24, 2012 at 03:29 PM
The death penalty should be reserved for the most heinous offenders- THEN FULFILLED. The Cheshire home insvasion killers, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, etc, etc. immediatley come to mind. If solid, conclusive evidence exists, get the syringes primed and get it done. I know if I ever experienced such horrific loss as what so many have, I'd be there for the convicts final breath. Sounds harsh, I know- but so were the crimes committed. A college classmate of mine went on to complete his law degree at Wake Forest. While there, he completed an extensive study of death row inmates and life sentences- what he found was that life inside a prison, while not entirely like life outside the prison IS STILL LIFE. The "lifers" he learned, simply adapted to the new environment inside the confines and created a new social life within the prison. In my opinion, until the worst offenders are fully deprived of life, equal justice has not been delivered.
John Yannacci, Sr. February 24, 2012 at 03:44 PM
A slight aside here. Virtually every poll taken shows that 75% of Connecticut citizens are in favor of the death penalty. If our state representatives are supposed to represent the people, shouldn't they vote for the death penalty regardless of their personal feelings?
Fran M. February 24, 2012 at 03:52 PM
If you say the polls run 75% "for" the DP, I think a good 15-20% of that group have been "swayed" by the Petit case, specifically. It's not a "deterrent", it's applied unfairly, and there are examples of mistakes being made in convictions. When people start bringing in the "economics" aspect, it's just a sad statement about the disrespect for life we have in our society.
Jason Glenn February 24, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Economics absolutely should be a part of it. In fact it's the humane thing to do. Imagine this for a moment: Imagine if instead of having taxes taken out of our pay check; imagine if there were "parking meters" outside of every felons sell and everyday we would all have to parade past their cells and put a quarter in. We need to stop hoarding our trash and clean out the dead wood. They are good for nothing and their dead weight is dragging down the economy. Rightfully or wrongly convicted alike...because hey, "if they were accused, they certainly weren't just sitting at home with the kids like they should be".
Justin February 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM
All these terrible scenarios could have ended diffrently if the general public practiced thier second amendment rights on a daily basis. Just saying.
Fran M. February 24, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Yes, let's go back to the Wild West. I particularly enjoyed how many people/students in the Virginia Tech shootings of a few years ago argued that the students could have put a stop to the incident by bearing their own arms. Then, of course, when the police did show up, and start shooting the armed (innocent) students who were practicing their "2nd amendment" rights, no one at all would complain about that, right?
Fran M. February 24, 2012 at 05:14 PM
You're kidding right? "rightfully or wrongfully accused alike"? If someone wants to argue that the "lifers" prison accomodations are too nice, fine... lets cut those budgets. Our definitions of "humane" appear to be vastly different.
Jason Glenn February 24, 2012 at 05:18 PM
The only thing I see wrong with that thinking is when you look at other countries with harsh punishments the crimals are that much more vicious. So here we have our various states with their various laws and people still do horrible things like the Petit case. In the middle east they chop off hands, heads, and the whip you....and it seems that aids in creating extremist factions that turn into world wide terror organizations.
Jason Glenn February 24, 2012 at 05:21 PM
But don't get me wrong I'm all for it and the due process that comes along with it. We must lead by example. I guess I'm saying premeditated murder is justifyable when thought through by a counsel, but crimes of passion and unprovoked attacks are not
Jason Glenn February 24, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Look at the society we've created for ourselves. We euthanize hundreds of animals daily all across the country because they have no one to care for them and they cannot care for themselves. They were picked up off the streets of our towns and cities for being a nuisance in one way or another. They have no useful purpose in our society. Humans have crowded out this planet and if we are going to keep our economy and society running smoothly then we need to regularly change the oil of our proverbial engine. Quite frankly I don't believe there is a need to distinguish between a discarded cat and the people serving 25 to life.
Jason Glenn February 24, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Why would the police need to shoot students? -Crazy kid starts firing -Innocent student puts him down -Police come and clean up the mess, end of story -Crazy guys shoots Ms. Gifford -Innocent bystander puts him down -Six other people don't get shot, and no one has to wrestle him to the ground. -Police come and clean up the mess
MisterSpuddy February 24, 2012 at 06:41 PM
The death penalty is NOT a deterrent. If anything, there are more murders in states that have it on the books than those that don't. Life without parole with NO comforts whatsoever and making sure the convicted can't off themselves is a much greater deterrent. And in case of a miscarriage of justice, you can't apologize to a corpse.
Jenn February 24, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I like it Herb!
Kate Griffith February 24, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Not to mention the court costs of all the appeals they are granted. Death penalty is the death penalty, end of story. I feel once they are convicted within a week the deed should be done. I think our taxes could be going to more worthwhile causes!!
Virginia McCormack February 24, 2012 at 08:09 PM
The death penalty guarantees that certain vicious felons will never escape from prison and kill again. Nor will they ever kill another inmate or a prison guard. I once thought that I was against the death penalty - until the carnage in Cheshire. Let's not forget eastern CT's own Michael Ross. In certain rare cases, use of the death penalty means that justice has been served.
Fran M. February 24, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Thanks Susan. There is some sanity on this thread. (why don't we convict and carry out the sentence in an hour...I mean, why waste one more cent on these lowlifes, right?) If a mistake is made with someone's life..."oops, sorry". But at least we saved our hard-earned taxpayer money (apparently more important than anything else). Think it through, people.
Fran M. February 24, 2012 at 08:14 PM
You're right Jason. In fact, if everyone's brandishing weapons...then we'd save lots more taxpayer money by not needing/having a police force too.
tom February 24, 2012 at 08:41 PM
My thoughts exactly.
Jeff Brown February 24, 2012 at 08:57 PM
I definitely believe in the death penalty , but i also believe it needs to be reformed to be more cost efficient. You get 2 appeals and if that doesnt work sorry. Maybe if we weren't wasting so much money housing these animals we could more money towards prevention and helping the victims. Murderers, rapists, child molesters , should be put to sleep like a vicious sick dog so they can never hurt anyone again case closed no chance of parole no chance of escape, no conjugal visits , no getting married in prison, no book deals, nothing. It personally makes me sick when people put the criminal before the victim. You might call it goverment sanctioned murder i just call it JUSTICE! Sadly enough the petits weren't a solitary case crap like this happens all the time.
Lucy-Ann Bach February 24, 2012 at 09:02 PM
I agree with you, Virginia. One who commits the heinous crime[s], with death the penalty in the law, sentences himself.
concerned citizen February 24, 2012 at 11:30 PM
The death penalty has been proven to be a completely ineffective deterrent for the kind of violent crime that it punishes. Additionally, the death penalty is actually MUCH more expensive to keep on the books because the state pays an exorbitant amount of money to continue prosecuting these people at the highest levels of our criminal justice system. The death penalty costs more than life in prison. Finally, even though the case of the Cheshire murders is clear, sometimes there are cases when the guilt of the person convicted is actually pretty suspect. Think about Troy Davis in Georgia, executed in September 2011. 7 of the 9 original witnesses recanted their testimony, he claimed his innocence to the day his life was taken, and it's possible that an innocent man was killed. Shouldn't the baseline be to protect potential innocence?
Kellie W. February 25, 2012 at 01:54 AM
As a criminal justice student at whs, and still learning to understand the death penalty, I am against it because regardless of the situation it is still murder. We're legally not allowed to kill people why should the government ? their people too.
ted Aub February 25, 2012 at 04:40 AM
This subject was ignited in the 60s with the Carrol Chessman case in New York and will always be a controversal subject.Personally, solitary confinement with no appeal process suits me fine so a minimum of personnel and resources are used on this person.
Jeff Brown February 25, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Well Kellie the government is responsible for killing thousands upon thousands , it's called war and of course it's a horrible thing but sometimes it's neccesary (ww2) but we don't go rounding up all our troops and politicians and putting them in jail for murder do we?
Christine Rene-Howard February 25, 2012 at 04:06 PM
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YTEjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=sXIFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5493,3744789&dq=charles-davis+belinda&hl=en
Rae Giesing May 03, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Just a note from a mother of a murder victim...A broken death penalty is what we had here in Connecticut.Why keep it if it is broken? I would rather see my son's murderer in general population.He is doing life with no parole,plus 5 years for the sawed off shot gun.He refused a cellmate we were informed,until the day of his conviction,after all he was then a convicted murderer of two brothers,and no longer a defendant.I hope he has a long life in there. Keeping them isolated and segregated,gives these monsters the ultimate protective custody.I do not have forgiveness in my heart,nor am I a bleeding heart for rights of those who have committed the ultimate heinous act of murder.
Carol D. Fox May 03, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Unfortunately, our state representatives seem to have their own agenda. I have mixed feelings on this topic, but strongly believe that those animals that killed the Petit family should get death. My only problem with the death penalty is DNA showing up years later proving one put to death was innocent

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