In the early hours of Friday May 22, the Connecticut State Senate made history and voted to abolish the death penalty in Connecticut. Thanks to the efforts of people around Connecticut, the bill is now moving to Gov. Rell. Unfortunately, she has stated that she will veto the bill. We are closer then ever and we have a small window of opportunity to change her mind so we need to let her know that the people of Connecticut support abolishing the death penalty. Please e-mail Gov. Rell now and urge her to abolish the death penalty!
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The death penalty does not work. It is not a deterrent; costs taxpayers far more than life in prison, and discriminates on the basis of socioeconomic status, race and geography. It will only take a few minutes to write the Governor and we've provided a letter for you to send or you can compose your own. Click here to send your letter.
We've seen innocent people who've spent years in prison be set free after the work of Connecticut's Innocence Project. As long as Connecticut has the death penalty, there is always the chance we will execute an innocent person. We are closer than ever before to abolishing the death penalty- please help us by e-mailing Gov. Rell now and then forward this link to your friends and post it to your Facebook or MySpace page urging people to contact the Governor to abolish the death penalty.
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Some facts about the Death Penalty
The Death Penalty Kills the Innocent:
Since 1976, 123 death-row prisoners have been released because they were innocent. In addition, at least seven people have been executed since 1976 even though they were probably innocent.1 Wrongful convictions often result from false confessions, which are frequent among people with mental retardation, mistaken eyewitnesses, jail house snitches, junk science and prosecutorial abuse.
The Death Penalty is Racially Biased and Punishes the Poor:
Most defendants are poor and are forced to depend on incompetent or token representation. Some lawyers have slept or appeared drunk during trials. Those who kill white people are far more likely to get the death penalty than those who kill black people.
The Death Penalty is Unfair:
The death penalty has never been applied fairly across race, class, and gender lines. Who
is sentenced to die often depends on the attitudes of prosecutors, where one is tried, the prejudices of judges and juries, and the abilities and commitment of defense attorneys.
The Death Penalty Cost More than Life in Prison:
Prosecuting a death penalty case is extremely expensive for a state and drains money that could be used for education and social programs. Capital punishment costs more than sentencing a prisoner to life without parole. The most comprehensive death penalty study in the country found that the death penalty cost North Carolina $2.16 million more per execution over the costs of sentencing murderers to life imprisonment. The majority of these costs occur at the trial level.2 In its review of death penalty expenses, the State of Kansas concluded that capital cases are 70% more expensive than comparable non-death penalty cases, including the costs of incarceration.3
The Death Penalty is Not a Deterrent to Crime:
Since 1977 over 80% of all executions have occurred in the South, the region with the highest murder rate. The Northeast, the region with the lowest murder rate, has accounted for less than 1% of the executions. Although the issue of deterrence has been studied extensively, there is no credible evidence that capital punishment deters murder or makes us any safer.
1) Staff of House Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights on the Judiciary, 103rd Cong., Innocence and the Death Penalty: Assessing the Dangers of Mistaken Executions available at
2) Duke University, May 1993
3) Kansas Performance Audit Report, December 2003
ACLU Capital Punishment Project, http://www.aclu.org/capital/index.html