Archbishop Henry Mansell

Archbishop Henry Mansell

May 7, 2012

In what he called "a moment of sober reflection, not celebration," Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law a bill outlawing the use of capital punishment in the state.

The law, which takes effect immediately, makes life imprisonment without the possibility of release the highest punishment possible.

The death penalty could be carried out, however, in the cases of 11 prisoners currently on death row in the state.

Hailing the signing as a "historic occasion," Archbishop Henry Mansell of Hartford said, "The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty and has been fighting for its elimination for many years."

Connecticut becomes the 17th state to abolish the death penalty.