HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Connecticut Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request by prosecutors to put on hold its landmark decision eliminating the state’s death penalty, while justices consider another appeal of capital punishment.
The decision was the second time this month that justices have upheld their 4-3 ruling in August that the death penalty violates the state constitution. The court on Oct. 8 turned down a request by prosecutors to reconsider the ruling.READ MORE: 2nd Former Aide Accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo Of Sexual Harassment, Governor Requests Independent Review
Justices said Friday that their ruling is final, and that it would be improper and bad precedent to grant a stay to a party that loses an appeal but hopes to succeed in a different case.
A deeply divided Supreme Court, in the appeal of convicted killer Eduardo Santiago, said a 2012 state law that abolished capital punishment for future crimes must be applied to the 11 men who still faced execution for killings that happened before the law took effect. Santiago had faced the possibility of lethal injection for a murder-for-hire killing in West Hartford in 2000.
A majority of justices said the death penalty “no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency” and doesn’t serve any “legitimate penological purpose.”READ MORE: NYPD: Good Samaritan Killed, 3 Hurt In Stabbing Linked To Illegal Brooklyn Gambling Den
Prosecutors had asked the Supreme Court to stay its decision in the Santiago case while the justices consider the appeal of convicted killer Russell Peeler Jr.
Peeler claims in his appeal, filed in 2008, that the state’s death penalty amounted to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment. He was sentenced to death for ordering the 1999 killings of an 8-year-old boy and his mother in Bridgeport, when the boy was expected to be a key witness against him in a fatal shooting.
Joseph “Mad Dog” Taborsky was the last murderer to be forcibly put to death in the state, back in 1960. He had been convicted in a string of murders and robberies in the 1950s.
Serial killer Michael Ross was executed in 2005, after being convicted in a string of murders in Connecticut and New York between 1981 and 1984. But he waived all appeals and literally begged for death.MORE NEWS: Nassau County Executive Laura Curran Exposed To Positive COVID-19 Case, Will Quarantine
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 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.)