Connecticut Joins Growing List of States to Abolish Death Penalty

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Connecticut has become the fifth state in five years to abolish its death penalty. The Connecticut Senate voted Wednesday to become the 17th state nationwide to end capital punishment. The vote followed 10 hours of emotional debate. The Connecticut House is expected to pass the bill and Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to sign the measure into law. A 2009 effort was vetoed by former Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

New York, New Mexico, Illinois and New Jersey have all ended the death penalty in recent years.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, executions in the United States peaked in 1999, with 98 people killed. Forty-three were executed in 2011, including Idaho's Paul Ezra Rhoades.

Fourteen people remain on Idaho death row - 13 men and one woman - and another execution is expected to occur by the end of 2012.

In this week's BW, we examine a grim anniversary: Friday, April 13, 1951, when Idaho saw its only double execution. Troy Powell and Ernest Walrath were also the youngest criminals ever put to death in the state.

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