HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld its landmark ruling declaring the state’s death penalty unconstitutional and abolishing capital punishment.
The court released its 5-2 decision Thursday in the appeal of Russell Peeler Jr., who had been on death row for ordering the 1999 killings of a woman and her 8-year-old son in Bridgeport. The boy, B.J. Brown, was to testify against Peeler in another murder case.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and lawmakers in 2012 abolished the death penalty but only for future murders. That left 11 men, including Peeler, still facing execution.
In another death row inmate’s appeal last year, justices ruled 4-3 that the 2012 abolishment must apply to those who remained on death row because the death penalty was unconstitutional. Justices reconsidered that decision in Peeler’s appeal.