HARTFORD, Conn. – A former death row inmate whose appeal resulted in capital punishment being eliminated in Connecticut has been resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Hartford Superior Court Judge Carl Taylor sentenced 36-year-old Eduardo Santiago on Friday for a 2000 murder-for-hire killing in West Hartford. Prosecutors say Santiago shot 45-year-old Joseph Niwinski in exchange for a pink-striped snowmobile with a broken clutch.
Santiago, whose death sentence previously had been overturned, was facing the possibility of it being reinstated when the state Supreme Court ruled on his appeal in August. A divided court found that capital punishment "no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency" and doesn't serve any penal purpose.
The state had eliminated the death penalty in 2012, except for those who were already facing capital punishment.