Featured Article

Lawmakers Push for Changes in Death Penalty Appeals Process
Article Audio

1:14 minutes (0.6 MB)
Download this Article
Share this Content

The State House of Representatives is expected to pass a bill to replace capitol punishment with a life sentence without parole. A bi-partisan group of legislators who oppose the bill, say they want a "workable" death penalty.

The group of House Democratic and Republicans say the death penalty should be difficult to implement, but not impossible. They support an amendment to the bill that would streamline the current process of appeals for death row inmates, so executions take place in Connecticut.

State Representative David Labriola says the process would mirror Florida's system, where the average time between an arrest and an execution is about 13 years. Labriola says the amendment would put strict deadlines in place.

"And by doing so, we would be giving a reasonable expectation to the families of the victims in these death penalty cases, that the perpetrator would eventually, in fact, be executed."

Currently in Connecticut, there are no deadlines, and the appeals process can go on for decades.

The state executed one person in 2005 - serial killer Michael Ross who chose to withdraw his appeals.

There are currently 10 death row inmates in the state. The longest standing is  Robert Breton who has been in prison for the past 22 years.

Florida, which is about five and a half times larger than Connecticut, currently has more than 400 death row inmates, and has had more than 65 executions since the 1970s.