HARTFORD, CT (AP) - Connecticut's governor has signed a new law that abolishes the state's death penalty for future crimes.
A spokeswoman says Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the bill Wednesday afternoon at a private ceremony with lawmakers, clergy and family members of victims.
Malloy issued a statement calling it "an historic moment" as Connecticut joins 16 other states that have abolished capital punishment. He said it was a moment "for sober reflection, not celebration."
The law replaced the death penalty with a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release. It does not affect the sentences of the 11 inmates already on Connecticut's death row.
A former prosecutor, Malloy said his position on the death penalty has evolved over the years.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)