On WCBS AM 880 – New York, Sen. Welch talks about the need to keep the death penalty on Connecticut’s books. [Audio]

April 4, 2012

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Hartford, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – The state Senate in Connecticut is expected to vote on a bill to repeal the death penalty on Wednesday.

Now that the two men responsible for the brutal Petit family murders in Cheshire have been sentenced to die, a move is underway to repeal the death penalty in the state.

Senate president Don Williams notes that the repeal would not affect the 11 men already on death row. He expects the bill to pass, but he knows that the vote could be close.

“In order to pass we need at least 18 votes,” Williams told WCBS 880′s Fran Schneidau. “That would be an 18 to 18 tie, and the lieutenant governor has indicated that she would vote to break that tie in favor of repeal.”

However, sentiment for keeping the penalty on the books remains strong, and a recent Quinnipiac poll found that more than half of those queried were not in favor of repeal.

The debate was expected to start at noon and is expected to last until past midnight. If the bill is passed, it will then go to the House of Representatives.