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State Senator

Eric D. Coleman

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Representing Hartford, Bloomfield & Windsor

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Contact: Andrew Ammirati
860-240-8671

April 4, 2012

Senate Leaders Announce Amendment to Death Penalty Repeal Bill

Proposal includes life in prison without the possibility of release and tough, new conditions of confinement

Senate leaders announced today their intention to call an amendment, as part of a vote to repeal capital punishment in Connecticut, that will establish tough new conditions for individuals convicted of Murder with Special Circumstances.

Upon conviction, the inmate shall be subject to the following:

  • Receive Special Circumstances High Security Status (the inmate will forever retain this status) and be assigned an initial classification of Level 4 High Security Status
  • Undergo a re-classification process of up to 12 months at the Northern Correctional Institute, taking into consideration the risk the inmate poses to staff and other inmates
  • Placement in Administrative Segregation or Protective Custody, as required
  • Permitted only non-contact visitation

“The punishment of life in prison without the possibility of release makes more sense,” said Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn). “These inmates will face conditions that are similar to and in some cases more severe than conditions on death row. It is a punishment and sentence that is certain and final.”

The conditions of confinement for inmates during their entire term of life in prison without release, including time at a Maximum Security Prison, shall include but not be limited to:

  • Separate housing unit from other inmates not in Special Circumstances High Security Status
  • Continuous escorted or monitored movement only
  • Minimum of two cell searches per week
  • Cell movement every 90 days
  • No work assignments outside of the assigned housing unit
  • Non-contact visitation only
  • Limited time outside the prison cell (2 hours out, 22 hours in)
  • “This amendment provides severe punishment for the most heinous crimes,” said Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney. “It is a just substitute for the death penalty.”

“The death penalty, as a punishment, is deeply flawed in many ways,” said Senator Eric Coleman (D-Bloomfield), Senate Chair of the Judiciary Committee. It is a poor deterrent to crime, inequitably applied across racial and economic lines, and a fundamental contradiction—killing as a punishment for killing. Connecticut rarely executes its prisoners, and the time has come to stop issuing such a misguided punishment.”

 

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