Politics: Scarcity, Necessity, Reality

Politics: Scarcity, Necessity, Reality

I saw the state kill a man once. It was in Virginia, not Connecticut, but most people would have thought he had it coming. He'd assaulted a 61-year-old woman with an umbrella and slit her throat. The punishment, in the electric chair, was grotesque — a pair of 55-second, 2,500-volt surges that would have blown him out of the oak seat had the leather straps not held him down. At the time – it was 1987 – Connecticut had just put Michael Ross on death row for his serial murders of young women, restarting the debate at the Capitol about the death penalty. Electrocution was Connecticut's statutory method of capital punishment. The Courant thought it'd be...