The Slatest

Connecticut’s Highest Court Forbids State From Carrying Out Death Penalties

Connecticut Supreme Court in Hartford.

John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that the state cannot carry out death sentences handed down before a 2012 state law banning future executions, the AP reports. The court ruled 4–3 in favor of a case brought by Eduardo Santiago, who was sentenced to death in 2005 for a 2000 murder:

“Upon careful consideration of the defendant’s claims in light of the governing constitutional principles and Connecticut’s unique historical and legal landscape, we are persuaded that, following its prospective abolition, this state’s death penalty no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency and no longer serves any legitimate penological purpose,” Justice Richard Palmer wrote for the majority.

“For these reasons, execution of those offenders who committed capital felonies prior to April 25, 2012, would violate the state constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.”

Eleven men in total are on Connecticut’s death row. The only person put to death in the state since 1960 was a serial rapist and murderer named Michael Ross who waived his appeal rights and was killed in 2005.