Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dr. Petit's testimony on death penalty repeal

Here is testimony sent electronically from Dr. William Petit and his sister.

We firmly believe that the death penalty is the appropriate sanction in certain heinous, cruel and depraved crimes.  We also believe that the death penalty gives prosecutors a bargaining chip in the plea bargain process.  This is essential in cutting costs in an overcrowded court system. Without this tool, prosecutors would not have been able to get Leslie Williams to plead to life without the possibility of release. In 2008, Williams left one woman for dead before raping and murdering her best friend and then dumping her body. He did this just four short weeks after he had served eight years for the rape of a five year old.
No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law. Actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life and more likely to die in prison while serving that sentence than is likely that an actual innocent will be executed. None of the men currently on death row in Connecticut are innocent.
Let us take the "c" word out of the discussion. There is no such thing as closure when your loved one is savagely taken from you. There can, however, be adequate and just punishment and that is the death penalty. If our lawmakers truly want to abolish the death penalty even though it is not what the majority of the citizens of Connecticut want, they need to at least be honest about it and change the language of the bill. There is no such thing as a prospective repeal. Passage of this bill essentially voids the death sentences of those currently on death row.

Johanna Petit Chapman

William A. Petit Jr.



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