Nevermore in my name: CT abolishes the death penalty

I know I wrote a similar post last week, but this time there’s no caveat. Connecticut has just abolished the death penalty. The Senate abolished it. The House has abolished it. The Governor will sign it.

If I weren’t so tired from listening to hours of testimony, my hands would probably be shaking. This is historic, indeed.

We have turned a corner. We have made ourselves known. We have stated with clarity that we have a moral compass and that compass is pointed in the direction of compassion and humanity. We are not that which we wish to condemn. We are not that which we wish to punish. We are better than them. We will not arbitrarily punish our own, we will not discriminate based on race or geography.

We will take a different approach. A road that leads to mercy and forgiveness. A path that saves the best in us. A choice that allows us to hold our head high and be counted among the citizens of the world. We will show that while it is difficult to resist our base instincts of anger, revenge and hatred, it is possible. And we can move past that and emerge stronger. We will lead by example.

We will not assume the hubris to decide, as a people, whose life is worth living. We will not ask that of our friends, neighbors and our children. We will unburden our state from the heavy yoke of carrying the deaths of so many. We will wash the blood from our hands.

Nevermore in my name.

7 thoughts on “Nevermore in my name: CT abolishes the death penalty

  1. Margo Schulter

    Thank you for this most eloquent and moving commentary, and also your tweets during the long debate in the Connecticut House of Representatives. One irony of the death penalty is that it creates what I’d call “the illusion of impunity,” the false perception that anything less than execution, including life without parole, is somehow an absence of punishment or an act of “coddling criminals.” At the same time, by diverting public funds from law enforcement strategies that can actually succeed, it promotes real impunity for murderers never brought to justice. As to arbitrariness, Samuel Romilly in 1786 may have said it as well as anyone when he replied to complaints that crime thrives In England because criminals were so often escaping the gallows: “The reason, it will be said, is because the laws in England are not executed; but it is inseparable from the nature of too severe laws, that they should not be executed.” Again, thank you for a most moving statement at this happy hour.

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