Connecticut to Kill the Death Penalty
Senate OKs bill repealing capital punishment
Connecticut will become the 17th state to repeal the death penalty.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The death penalty is a dead man walking in Connecticut. The state is almost certain to become the 17th one to do away with capital punishment, following a 20-16 vote in the state Senate. That—the 10 hours of debate and the 2:05am vote—was the hard part, explains the Hartford Courant, since the state House and governor have vowed to pass and sign the bill, respectively. The repeal of capital punishment will mean that life in prison without parole will become the state's new highest form of punishment going forward, meaning the 11 men on death row (including these guys) would still be executed.

Two Democrats joined the Republicans in voting against the bill to repeal capital punishment. The GOP maintained that the death penalty is a powerful way to deliver justice to the "worst of the worst." And one senator pointed out that if the death penalty is "always wrong" it should be "wrong going backward"—making the exception for the 11 a "big gaping exception." But that exception was demanded by some of the senators who changed their minds. The state has executed only one man since 1960; he actually ended up waiving his appeals because he found life on death row so awful, which proponents of the bill cited as a sign that the new toughest punishment offered would be a severe one indeed.