A Fairfield woman has been honored by the League of Women Voters of Connecticut for her role in opposing capital punishment in the state.
Ellen McBride, a longtime member of the league, was presented with its Percy Maxim Lee Award for successfully arguing for repeal of the Connecticut death penalty law, the league said in a news release.
The award was established in 2005 and recognizes a league member "who by sheer perseverance and stamina, research and persuasion has effectively moved the state Legislature to accomplish an important goal," according to the release.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation April 25 making Connecticut the 17th state to repeal its death penalty. Repeal will not affect 11 convicted killers now on death row.
"Through Ms. McBride's expertise and dedication, the league has become a vocal and strong advocate against capital punishment," the league said in the release.
She chaired a league committee that in 2006 conducted a study, and then recommended the organization oppose the death penalty as a sentencing option for murder or any other crime. Over the past six years, she lobbied the Legislature and spearheaded a campaign to educate league members and the public about the inequalities in sentencing and other problems associated with the death penalty, the league said.
The League of Women Voters says it is a nonpartisan political organization of women and men, encouraging informed and active participation in government, and working to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influence public policy through education and advocacy.
The Lee award is named after the late Connecticut woman who was president both of the statewide organization and the national organization.
Although the prize was established in 2005, this year marks only the third time is has been awarded, the league said.