Connecticut death penalty debate continues in Milford

Milford’s State Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, said her vote to repeal the state’s death penalty law was a vote of conscience for her. Slossberg, who has been Milford, West Haven, and Orange’s state senator since 2004, previously supported the death penalty.

The thought an innocent person could die for a crime they didn’t commit really bothered her, she said. Slossberg said it’s a fact the criminal justice system makes mistakes.

Slossberg also expressed dismay at how arbitrarily the death penalty was applied. About 80 percent of death penalty cases occur in the south, and just 1 percent in the northeast.

Slossberg’s position drew criticism from former state Sen. Tom Scott, of Milford, who said Slossberg “flip-flopped” on the position and he called her a “phony.”

Scott said he fought to strengthen the death penalty when he was a lawmaker. Scott said he was motivated by the shooting death of Milford Police Officer Daniel Wasson 25 years ago.

Yesterday, I asked people on social media to share their comments, and the reactions were intense.

Personally, I grew up thinking the death penalty may be a deterrent for violent offenses, but over the years and hearing about so many legal appeals lasting decades I’m not so certain the death penalty does what it's supposed to.

Essentially, I understand both Slossberg and Scott’s point of views, and the death penalty debate is a tough one because it leads to such passionate dialogue. As long as the debate is civil it’s very healthy.

What are your thoughts on the state’s repeal of the death penalty law? Please share your comments here or email me at bmccready@nhregister.com.

We always love to hear from our readers, and know what you’re thinking, and what you’d like to see covered. 

Brian McCready
Metro Editor

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