Republican Mark Greenberg is slamming Democratic U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty for opposing the death penalty for alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“Shockingly, Elizabeth Esty maintains her opposition to the death penalty even in a case of terrorism. Her radical liberal views are even more liberal than” those of Attorney General Eric Holder, Greenberg said. “It is time we elected a Congressman who represents us, not the far left.”
Esty, who was unavailable for comment, has long been opposed to the death penalty. In 2009, as a state legislator, she struggled with her lifelong opposition to capitol punishment. “Since I was a child, it always seemed to be wrong, morally wrong, religiously wrong,” Esty told Mark Pazniokas, who was reporting for the New York Times at the time.
But Esty represented Cheshire, where Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, were terrorized and murdered. In acknowledgement of the sensitivity in her district, Esty voted in favor of the repeal bill but was not a vocal advocate. “Frankly I feel that would not be appropriate for me to do from my district,” she told Paz.
A year later, Esty lost her reelection bid for her General Assembly seat to Al Adinolfi, a staunch proponent of the death penalty. “If elected members of any body — whether it’s a state house or Congress — were not willing to take career-ending or at least election-losing votes, I would not have the right to vote today,” Esty said in an interview with Courant Capitol Bureau Chief Chris Keating.
“I felt it was my obligation to vote for what was best for the state, even if not popular at the time or in my district,” Esty told Keating. “That allows me to put my head on my pillow at night, and it allows me to face my children. There are things that matter more than your election. That may take difficult votes, may take career-ending votes for people, but if we aren’t willing to do that, then we’re not going to move forward.”
The death penalty was eliminated by the Connecticut legislature in 2012, although it still applies to crimes that were committed, such as the Petit killings, prior to the passage of the repeal.