Year of Reenactment
(since 1972 suspension)
Year of First Execution
(since reenactment)
Year of Abolition
(inmates remain on death row)

1875-1934: hanging

1935-1994: electrocution

1995-present: lethal injection

Current Method
Lethal injection


Connecticut has life without parole. A jury decides the sentence. The Board of Pardons has full authority to grant clemency. The Governor's only authority is his or her ability to grant reprieves. The reprieve is limited to the end of the following session of the general assembly.

Michael Ross, a death row inmate who has written many articles on the problems of the death penalty for national publications, lost his bid to have his death sentence restored without a hearing in 1998. The Connecticut courts had earlier overturned his death sentence because he had been suffering from mental illness at the time of his crimes. Ross had wanted to spare the victims' families the grief of attending another sentencing proceeding. Michael Ross was executed on May 13, 2005.

In 2012, Connecticut became the 17th state to abolish the death penalty, and the 5th state to do so in 5 years. The abolition is prospective, meaning that it does not apply to the individuals who were sentenced to death before the law was passed. As a result, the 11 men on death row in Connecticut still face the possibility of execution.

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