venerdì 14 agosto 2015

Connecticut Death Penalty Law Is Unconstitutional, Court Rules. Spared the lives of 11 men on death row

The New York Times
Casting the death penalty as an outdated tool of justice at odds with today’s societal values, Connecticut’s highest court on Thursday spared the lives of 11 men on death row by ruling that capital punishment violated the State Constitution.

The court ruled, 4 to 3, that a 2012 law abolishing capital punishment must be applied to the 11 inmates facing execution for offenses they committed before the measure took effect. But the decision went well beyond the narrow question of whether those men could be executed, declaring that the death penalty, in the modern age, met the definition of cruel and unusual punishment.

“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 of the State Supreme Court wrote for the majority.

In a blistering dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers said the majority’s decision overstated the societal aversion to the death penalty, calling the ruling “a house of cards, falling under the slightest breath of scrutiny.”

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