(Hartford, Conn.) — After years of failed attempts to repeal the death penalty, Connecticut lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have passed legislation that abolishes the punishment for all future cases.
As expected, members of the House voted 86-62 in favor of the bill after a floor debate that lasted nearly 10 hours on Wednesday.
The legislation, which would make Connecticut the 17th state to abolish the death penalty, awaits a signature from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has said he would sign the bill into law. “Going forward, we will have a system that allows us to put these people away for life, in living conditions none of us would want to experience,” the Democratic governor said in a statement following the vote. “Let’s throw away the key and have them spend the rest of their natural lives in jail.”
The bill would abolish the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of release.
Lawmakers were able to garner support by making the legislation affect only future crimes and not the 11 men currently on death row.
Four other states have abolished the death penalty in the past five years: Illinois, New Jersey, New York and New Mexico.
Excerpt, read: Connecticut Legislature Repeals Death Penalty -By Shannon Young | TIME
CONNECTICUT, RACE & THE DEATH PENALTY
Facts worth noting: In Connecticut, seven out of 10, or 70 percent, of death row inmates are African-American or Latino, whereas only 9 percent of Connecticut’s population is African-American and 10 percent is Latino, according to theAmerican Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut.
Studies have shown the most important factor in levying the death penalty is race. Those who kill a white person are shown to be more likely to receive the death penalty than those who kill a Black or Latino person.
Source: Connecticut Legislature Repeals Death Penalty -By Danielle Wright | BET
The U.S. House of Representatives and a Senate panel have both approved measures that would begin the process of dismantling the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibits gays and lesbians for serving openly in the military.
After a heated Thursday night floor debate, House members voted 234-to-194 to approve a repeal amendment to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act sponsored by Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy.
“Tonight, Congress took a historic step toward repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and toward ensuring that every American has the same opportunity I did to defend our nation,” said Murphy, who served as an Army paratrooper. “Patriotic Americans willing to take a bullet for their country should never be forced to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love.”
Earlier Thursday evening, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a companion amendment by a 16-12 vote in a closed-door session.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the lone Republican on the committee joining 15 of her Democratic colleagues to approve the measure as an attachment to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia was the only Democrat to vote against it.
If signed into law as part of the Defense funding bill, the measure would not immediately repeal the law. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would continue as the official policy of the military until two events occur: the Pentagon completes an implementation study due in December; and the secretary of Defense, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and President Barack Obama certify that repeal will not weaken military readiness. Once those two requirements are met, a 60-day waiting period will begin before the policy is finally lifted.
Repeal advocates celebrated the historic vote even as they acknowledged that it was one step in what promises to be a multitiered process.
Excerpt, read the entire article here: Congress Moves to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: – By Kerry Eleveld | The Advocate