Connecticut Nears Ending Capital Punishment

April 5, 2012 Updated: April 5, 2012

The Connecticut state Senate voted early on Thursday morning to repeal the state’s death penalty, with the House expected to approve the same legislation.

Gov. Daniel Malloy had previously said that he will sign the bill, which will make the state the next to abolish capital punishment. Illinois got rid of the death penalty last year.

“Connecticut’s criminal justice system has taken a historic step forward. In a system of justice that is [not] perfect, we must not employ a penalty that requires perfection,” Senate President Donald E. Williams said in a statement. “The punishment of life in prison without the possibility of release makes more sense.”

Other than Illinois, in the past five years New York, New Mexico, and New Jersey are the only states to abolish the death penalty.

In the past 10 years, the number of people sentenced to death in the United States has declined significantly. In 1999, there were 98 executions, with only 37 in 2008; however, the number rose to 46 executions in 2010 and 43 in 2011.