Maryland, where we practice criminal defense law, is not a state among those that have ditched the ultimate punishment, though there has been a moratorium on executing people since 2006. Maryland, as in other states, reserves the death penalty for the most serious of crimes, like premeditated murder.
But Connecticut will soon become the 17th state in the U.S. to ditch the death penalty, as CNN reports. "When I sign this bill," said Gov. Dannel Malloy, "Connecticut will join 16 other states and almost every other industrialized nation in moving toward what I believe is better public policy."
The trend seems to be toward abolishing the death penalty. CNN reports that four other states have ditched the death penalty in the last five years alone. With Connecticut, there will be a total of 17 states that no longer condone it, opting instead for sentences like life imprisonment.
People who support getting rid of the death penalty cite the cost of "multiple appeals" during their time on death row, when it would have been cheaper to simply put those inmates behind bars for life.
On the other hand, those who support the death penalty claim that it acts as a deterrent against those who would perpetrate violent crimes.