Friday, March 2, 2012

Rally in Connecticut

From Wednesday's New Haven Register, "Families of slaying victims rally against death penalty in Connecticut":

HARTFORD -— In early 2011, Brian Patterson was killed in Virginia.

A little more than a year later, Patterson’s cousin Khalilah Brown-Dean came forward to protest the death penalty in Connecticut.

Brown-Dean was one of six speakers, all of them family members of slaying victims, who took part in a press conference and rally Wednesday to end the death penalty. Those six speakers are among 179 family members of slaying victims who signed a letter to legislators arguing against capital punishment.

“There is simply no justice in taking the life of another,” Brown-Dean said.

A bill to abolish the death penalty was raised by the Judiciary Committee.

All of the speakers at Wednesday’s rally had tragic stories to tell. Torrington’s Elizabeth Brancato’s mother was killed in 1979. In New Haven, Victoria Coward’s 18-year-old son was killed in 2007. The brother of Stamford’s Catherine Ednie was killed in 1995.

Many of the speakers choked back tears as they recounted their losses, but all agree that the state’s death penalty should be repealed.

Calling the state’s application of the death penalty “arbitrary and capricious,” Ednie called the idea that only the “worst of the worst” criminals get put on death row, “insulting."

“It divides murders into two classes, the worst and the not-so-bad,” she said.

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