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Conn. Death Penalty Faces Second Vote In General Assembly

Connecticut State Capitol - Hartford, CT - File / Photo: Connecticut General Assembly and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund, Inc.

Connecticut State Capitol – Hartford, CT – File / Photo: Connecticut General Assembly and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund, Inc.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP/CBSNewYork) - A bill that would abolish Connecticut’s death penalty for all future cases is facing its second vote in the General Assembly.

Members of the state’s House of Representatives are scheduled to take up the legislation on Wednesday afternoon.

The proposed bill would abolish the death penalty for all future cases, but would not directly affect the sentences of the 11 inmates currently on Connecticut’s death row. Individuals convicted under the proposed legislation would receive sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of release in lieu of the death penalty.

Additionally, the bill renames the capital felony charge as, “murder with special circumstances.” The charge would be reserved for individuals convicted of murdering two or more people at the same time, a person under age 16 or a person he or she has kidnapped, among other scenarios.

The state Senate approved a repeal bill after nearly 11 hours of debate last week.

“From my personal standpoint, the death penalty should be retained,” State Sen. Len Fasano told WCBS 880. “I think the bill was a good bill to vote against because it’s unconstitutional and illogical.”

In a poll last month, Conn. voters said they did not want to see the state’s death penalty repealed, with 62 percent saying it would be a bad idea.

Connecticut has carried out only one execution in 51 years, when serial killer Michael Ross was administered lethal injection in 2005.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said if the bill passes, he would sign it into law.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)