Death Penalty Repeal Heads to State Supreme Court

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013  |  Updated 7:13 AM EDT
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Lawyers are going before the Connecticut Supreme Court to argue whether the state can execute death row inmates after repealing the death penalty last year.

The repeal only covered capital crimes committed after April 24, 2012 and left the 11 men on the state's death row still facing execution.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday on whether the repeal for future crimes violates the constitutional rights of the death row prisoners.

The arguments come in the case of former Torrington resident Eduardo Santiago, who was sentenced to death for the 2000 killing of a West Hartford man in exchange for a snowmobile.

The Supreme Court overturned the death sentence and ordered a new penalty phase last year. But the ruling came two months after the death penalty was repealed. 

"Why should one class of inmates who committed horrible crimes be subject to the death penalty and other people who committed equally horrible crimes are not?," Andrew Schneider, of the American Civil Liberties of Connecticut. "There's a fundamental justice problem right there."
 

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