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Death Penalty Supporters Rallying Against Repeal In Connecticut

An execution chamber is seen in Huntsville, TX - Jun 23, 2000 - Photo: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers

File – An execution chamber (Photo: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

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HARTFORD, CT (AP / CBSNewYork) – Death penalty supporters are trying to rally support among Connecticut voters for capital punishment, promising to offer an amendment in the coming weeks that would streamline the appeals process.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau with St. Rep. David Labriola


A group of legislators, police, advocates and family members of murder victims, including Dr. William Petit - whose wife and two daughters were killed in a Cheshire home invasion - appeared Monday at a news conference in Hartford. They are seeking to draw attention to a bill expected to advance in a committee vote this week that would repeal the death penalty for future capital crimes.

Rep. David Labriola says if the bill does move forward, an amendment will be offered in the House to place limits on automatic stays of execution and certain appeals.

“What we propose to do is to do an amendment to the attempt to get rid of the death penalty where we would not only support the death penalty, but limit the appellate process to a reasonable period, perhaps seven to nine years,” Labriola told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

Labriola says, “This would put on definite timelines for the filing of appeals and the habeas corpus petitions that death row inmates file so that, for the first time in Connecticut, the victims’ families would have a reasonable expectation that, in fact, a death sentence would be carried out.”

He says the judiciary committee this week will likely vote to abolish the law. That’s when death penalty supporters will file their amendment. But he concedes that the vote in the full legislature will be close.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)