2011 Connecticut Code
Title 54 Criminal Procedure
Chapter 961 Trial and Proceedings After Conviction
Sec. 54-100. Method of inflicting death penalty. Attendance at execution.

      Sec. 54-100. Method of inflicting death penalty. Attendance at execution. (a) The method of inflicting the punishment of death shall be by continuous intravenous injection of a substance or substances in a quantity sufficient to cause death, in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Commissioner of Correction in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Health. The Commissioner of Correction shall direct a warden of an appropriate correctional institution to appoint a suitable person or persons to perform the duty of executing sentences of the court requiring the infliction of the death penalty. Such person or persons shall receive, for such duty, such compensation as is determined by the Commissioner of Correction. When any person is sentenced to death by any court of this state having competent jurisdiction, he shall, within twenty days after final sentence, be conveyed to an appropriate correctional institution and such punishment shall be inflicted only within the walls of said institution, within an enclosure to be prepared for that purpose under direction of the warden of said institution. Such enclosure shall be so constructed as to exclude public view.

      (b) Besides the warden or deputy warden and such number of correctional staff as he thinks necessary, the following persons may be present at the execution: The Commissioner of Correction, a physician, a clergyman in attendance upon the prisoner and such other adults, as the prisoner may designate, not exceeding three in number, news media representatives and such other persons as the commissioner deems appropriate. The total number of witnesses permitted at an execution shall be governed by space and security requirements and the Commissioner of Correction shall make the final determination of such number. News media representatives present at an execution shall include representatives of newspapers, broadcasters and news services, who shall report on behalf of all news media. The number of news media representatives present at an execution shall be nine, except that the commissioner, in his discretion, may authorize a greater number of such representatives or, for specified reasons of space or security, may reduce such number of representatives. The commissioner may exclude a witness for specified reasons of security.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8816; 1963, P.A. 28, S. 6; P.A. 74-84; P.A. 95-16, S. 1, 5; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-180, S. 130, 166; P.A. 97-184, S. 1.)

      History: 1963 act provided electrocution be at prison in Somers rather than Wethersfield; P.A. 74-84 allowed attendance of "adults" designated by prisoner rather than attendance of "persons, adult males" designated by prisoner; P.A. 95-16 changed the method of inflicting the punishment of death from "electrocution" to "continuous intravenous injection of a substance or substances in a quantity sufficient to cause death, in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Commissioner of Correction in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Health and Addiction Services", replaced the requirement that the warden of the Connecticut Correctional Institution, Somers, appoint a suitable person to perform the execution and that such person's compensation be determined by the directors of said institution with the requirement that the Commissioner of Correction direct a warden of an appropriate correctional institution to appoint such a person and that such person's compensation be determined by said commissioner, required a person sentenced to death to be conveyed to an appropriate correctional institution rather than to "the Connecticut Correctional Institution, Somers" and that the enclosure be prepared under direction of the warden of said institution rather than the warden and board of directors of the Connecticut Correctional Institution, Somers, replaced "guards" with "correction officers", replaced as some of the persons authorized to be in attendance at the execution "the board of directors, the physician of the Connecticut Correctional Institution, Somers," with "the commissioner, a physician of a correctional institution", effective October 1, 1995, and applicable to executions carried out on or after said date; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-180 substituted "Commissioner of Correction" for "commissioner", effective June 3, 1996; P.A. 97-184 inserted Subsec. indicators, amended Subsec. (a) to authorize the appointment of more than one person to perform the execution and amended Subsec. (b) to revise the list of persons authorized to be present at the execution by replacing "correction officers" with "correctional staff", replacing "a physician of a correctional institution" with "a physician", deleting the "sheriff of the county in which the prisoner was tried and convicted", "representatives of not more than five newspapers in the county where the crime was committed" and "one reporter for each of the daily newspapers published in the city of Hartford" and adding "news media representatives" and "such other persons as the commissioner deems appropriate", provided that the total number of witnesses shall be governed by space and security requirements and be finally determined by the commissioner, provide that news media representatives shall include representatives of newspapers, broadcasters and news services reporting on behalf of all news media, provided that the number of news media representatives shall be nine subject to increase or reduction by the commissioner and authorize the commissioner to exclude a witness for security reasons.

      Cited. 121 C. 197. Death penalty does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment and courts will not vitiate legislative determination of punishment for crimes. 158 C. 341. Cited. 238 C. 389. P.A. 95-16 cited. Id.


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