Lawmakers across the country re-evaluating the death penalty

Marc at MT capitol

EJUSA’s Marc Hyden speaks at the Montana State Capitol in advance of a hearing to repeal the death penalty.

State capitals are buzzing as lawmakers return for this year’s state legislative sessions. It’s no surprise that the death penalty is on the agenda in so many places, given the growing movement away from executions.

There has long been strong support for death penalty repeal in Kansas, but due to many circumstances, repeal bills haven’t received committee hearings in recent years. This year, a diverse range of Kansans – murder victims’ family members, faith leaders, those with law enforcement experience, and legal experts – were able to express their support for repeal in front of a House committee. The hearing room was standing room only with supporters of the bill, and those testifying in favor of repeal outnumbered opponents 9 to 1.

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Connecticut Supreme Court puts a nail in the coffin of state’s death penalty

CT Supreme Court building

Three years ago, EJUSA joined our partners at the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty and a broad coalition of supporters to celebrate Connecticut’s repeal of the death penalty. Now, the Connecticut Supreme Court has taken things a step further and ruled the death penalty unconstitutional.

Repeal in Connecticut was prospective, meaning it only applied to cases after the law was passed. It left 11 men on the state’s death row. The Court said that “the death penalty now fails to satisfy any legitimate penological purpose and is unconstitutionally excessive,” ruling that those 11 men will now be resentenced.

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