CT Execution Stayed
If Connecticut puts Michael Ross to death, he will be the first person executed in New England in 45 years.
Nearly 950 people have been put to death since capital punishment was reinstated in this country in 1976, but none in states north or east of Pennsylvania.
Ross was scheduled to be executed on January 26, but a federal judge today stayed the execution. Ross has not challenged his death sentence, but lawyers for the state's Division of Public Defenders Services question whether Ross is competent to surrender his post-conviction rights. They persuaded Judge Robert Chatigny to hear evidence about Ross' mental capacity.
As the Christian Science Monitor reports, some fear that a New England execution will open the door to greater reliance on the death penalty in a part of the country that became wary of sanctioned killing after the Salem witch trials. According to death penalty defense lawyer Paula Montonye:
The execution "is a stamp of approval on killing. It creates an atmosphere of death. And life begets life; death begets death."
|< Abortion Protests, the President, and the Supreme Court | Farewell Party Held for John Ashcroft >|