The Connecticut House of Representatives voted on Wednesday 86-62 in favor of repealing the death penalty in the state.
The state Senate passed a similar bill last week. Shortly after the House version passed around 11 p.m., Gov. Dannel P. Malloy issued a press release saying, "When (the bill) gets to my desk I will sign it.”
“I want to be careful in the tone of my remarks, out of respect for the gravity of the issue at hand and out of respect for people on both sides of the issue," Malloy said. "When I sign this bill, Connecticut will join 16 other states and almost every other industrialized nation in moving toward what I believe is better public policy."
With Malloy's signature, Connecticut will be the fifth state in five years to do away with capital punishment.
“For decades, we have not had a workable death penalty,” Maloy said. “Only one person’s been executed in Connecticut in the last 52 years, and he volunteered for it.”
As reported in The New York Times, the only states in the northeast left with the death penalty are New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
Naugatuck state Rep. David Labriola has been a vocal supporter of maintaining the death penalty in this state. Both Labriola and state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, voted against the repeal, their office said.
The Hartford Courant reported that the 11 inmates currently on death row — which includes the two killers in the Cheshire home invasion, Joshua Komisarjevsky and Stephen Hayes — will still face execution.
Malloy said in the news release that, going forward, the state will have a system that allows for those who commit the worst crimes to be locked away for life.
“Let’s throw away the key and have them spend the rest of their natural lives in jail,” the governor said.