3 Connecticut lawmakers call for restoring the death penalty

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HARTFORD — Many states are moving toward eliminating the death penalty, but three Connecticut lawmakers are trying to bring it back.

Republican Reps. Robert Sampson, Kurt Vail and Kevin Skulczyck have proposed bills that would reinstate capital punishment, which was abolished by the state Supreme Court in 2015. In a sharply divided 4-3 decision, the majority opinion said the death penalty no longer serves any legitimate punishment purposes nor does it comply with “cotemporary standards of decency.”

Sampson disagrees. He says he believes the death penalty deters crime, and some crimes are so heinous that execution is warranted. But he is not optimistic that lawmakers will reinstate capital punishment this year.

Thirty-one states have the death penalty. Bills in at least eight states would abolish capital punishment.