cross posted from The Dream Antilles
What a disgrace. On Friday, the Connecticut legislature passed a bill abolishing the death penalty. I asked readers of my essay to call or email Governor Rell to ask her please to sign the bill. There was, I pointed out, a strong chance that the Republican Governor, a long time death penalty supporter, would veto the bill.
Today’s Hartford Courant says that Governor Rell vows to veto the measure when it gets to her desk. It might take a few weeks to get there:
Just hours after the state Senate gave final legislative approval Friday to a historic measure abolishing the death penalty in Connecticut, Gov. M. Jodi Rell came out with an expected announcement:
She said she was going to veto the measure as soon as it hits her desk.
“I appreciate the passionate beliefs of people on both sides of the death penalty debate. I fully understand the concerns and deeply held convictions of those who would like to see the death penalty abolished in Connecticut,” she said in a statement.
“However, I also fully understand the anguish and outrage of the families of victims who believe, as I do, that there are certain crimes so heinous – so fundamentally revolting to our humanity – that the death penalty is warranted.”
What nonsense. The families of victims are far from unanimous that the death penalty is warranted. In fact, as the Courant pointed out in its photo caption, Friday “[f]amilies of victims of murder [spoke] at a press conference in support of a bill passed by the legislature Thursday that would abolish the death penalty. Pictured are Gail Canzano, at podium, Elizabeth Brancato of Torrington, State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield of New Haven, Rev. Walter Everett , Cindy Siclari of Monroe and Anne Stone of Farmington.” So the Governor’s invocation of wishes of the families of victims rings hollow.
We can all easily understand how appealing revenge on killers might be, but the overwhelming majority of civilized societies in the world have now abandoned that barbarian argument. Rell chooses, however, to dress up the old canard in victims’ rights clothing. The fact is that she’s not doing anything for victims’ families by permitting the state to kill killers. And she’s certainly not doing anything for the rest of us, in whose names these state killings will be carried out. State killing doesn’t deter killing, and it doesn’t bring “closure” to the families of victims.
Governor Rell’s vowing the veto because she allegedly “believes” in the death penalty. And when Republicans enact policies just because they believe in them– surely the memory of George W. Bush has not been forgotten– you know that irrationality has prevailed.
You might want to tell Governor Rell that the death penalty is a bad idea, that we can live without it, and that she’s making a mistake if she vetoes this bill.
Please telephone Governor Rell (860.566.4840) or email her (Governor.Rell@ct.gov) and let he know that it’s time for Connecticut to step into the 21st Century. It’s time for her to sign the death penalty abolition bill.