Some families of murder victims who oppose capitol punishment gathered today to urge the Governor to sign the legislation.
Anne and Fred Stone lost their son to a brutal stabbing in 1997. But in a press conference in Hartford, Mrs. Stone said the tragedy did not change their position against the death penalty.
"Ralph was a peace loving man," she said, her voice trembling with emotion."His murderer has never been arrested. But what good would it do if there were a conviction and a death sentence administered? We want only the justice of the conviction. The death sentence could never erase our grief."
Mr.Stone called the death penalty "another sickening killing in the name of justice."
Dr. Gail Canzano also spoke against the sentence - her brother-in-law was murdered five years ago. His murderer was sentenced to 30 years in prison with no possibility of release.
"We are led to believe with the imposition of the death penalty, that something will be made right," said Canzano, a clinical psychologist."An eye for an eye, a life for a life. But truth be told, there are some things that can never be rectified."
Canzano said retribution is not based on reason, but on the desire for vengeance, which prevents the process of healing, an apparant goal professed by all who were present.
But Wolcott resident Hellen Willams said the death penalty is not revenge, it is justice. Her son was Waterbury Police officer Walter Williams, who was shot to death in 1992. In a 2008 interview on WNPR's Where We Live, Williams said she wished the death penalty process didn't take so long.
"If they deserve death row, they deserve to die, not sit there, 15, well, 15 years for us, or 20 years, or however long. It's ridiculous. When Connecticut puts you on death row, you deserve to be there."
Officer William's killer, Richard Reynolds, is one of ten men sitting on Connecticut's death row.
Judiciary Committee co chair, Representative Mike Lawlor, says Governor Rell's decision to veto is premature, especially in light of unprecedented bipartisan support.