Hartford, Conn. (WTNH/AP) - Connecticut lawmakers have agreed to take up legislation this session to repeal the state's death penalty.
The legislature's Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 23 to 15 to raise the bill for discussion.
Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, a New Haven Democrat, said he's been working to gain the support of state legislators who previously opposed repeal.
A full public hearing will be held within the next few weeks to discuss the issue.
"In my opinion, doing away with the death penalty, the way they want to do it, and put them in with the general population is actually rewarding them for their crimes," said Rep. Al Adinolfi.
Representative Adinolfi lives a few doors down from where the Cheshire home invasion crime occurred. The two men convicted in the deaths of a woman and her two daughters are now on death row.
Three young women were murdered in State Representative Steve Mikutel's district in Griswold in the 1980's by serial killer Michael Ross.
"Those kind of callous killers deserve the death penalty and the courts have upheld the death penalty," Rep. Mikutel said.
With the Cheshire killers trials now concluded votes at the capitol are expected to change.
With the Governor on board, advocates of repeal feel the timing for repeal is better than it has been the last two times it was attempted.
"Dan Malloy ran on this issue as one of the issues that he supports, that being the abolishing of the death penalty," said Rep. Holder-Winfield.
Three years ago a repeal bill passed the Assembly but less than 24 hours after the bill arrived on her desk then Governor Jodi Rell vetoed the bill saying the death penalty sends a clear message to those who would contemplate cold calculated crimes, like the Cheshire home invasion two years earlier.
Dr. William Petit, who had pleaded with lawmakers not to pass the bill, thanked the Governor for what he called her moral courage in clearly standing up for what's right.
Last year the repeal bill passed the Judiciary Committee but never came to a full vote in the House or Senate because State Senator Edith Prague announced she had changed her vote after a personal appeal from Dr. Petit.
She returned to the Capitol late in January after recovering from a mild stroke and in an exclusive News 8 interview said that she could change her vote again.
Another State Senator, Democrat Andrew Maynard of Stonington who said he would vote against repeal last year now says he will support it.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
UConn is expected to make it official in a news conference Thursday afternoon, but they have made a decision regarding who will be leading the football team next season.
The State Democratic Party has had to return a $10,000 contribution that appears to be illegal. It may be the first campaign contribution 'flare-up' of next year's race for governor.
Police say DNA evidence helped them crack a cold case investigation out of East Hampton.
Remembrance ceremonies are underway across the state and nation in honor of the victims at Sandy Hook.
An adult and a teen have been arrested in connection with a drunk driving crash that killed a Hebron teenager in August.
We have been telling you about a little boy, just 6-years-old, suspended from school for kissing a girl on the hand. We've been getting a lot of calls about that one.
As we brace for a winter storm this weekend, some Connecticut farmers are just recovering from the previous two bad winter seasons.
It was all a hoax, but the cost of last month's Yale gunman scare is no joke. We're talking thousands and guess who foots that hefty bill?
MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — Two Connecticut police officers who helped victims of the Boston Marathon bombings last April were among dozens of state and local officers honored for saving lives and other brave acts.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Yale University says an 1858 manuscript it acquired is the earliest known prison memoir written by an African-American.