In a historic action that may be rendered short-lived by a gubernatorial veto, the Connecticut Senate narrowly gave final legislative approval early today to a bill that would abolish the death penalty, the Hartford Courant reports. The 19-17 vote came at 4:11 a.m., after nearly 11 hours of impassioned debate and eight days after the state House of Representatives’ approval of the bill by a 90-56 vote.
Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell has steadfastly said that she supports capital punishment, and repeated that yesterday, saying, “I’ve always believed that there are some crimes that are so heinous that it deserves the death penalty.” State Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams said he hopes Rell will reconsider. He said, “We have seen a sea change in the state House of Representatives and the state Senate, and I think it reflects something that’s going on across the country.”