The New England state is the latest to back away from the death penalty, following Nebraska earlier this year and Maryland in 2013. The decision followed a 2012 state law that abolished capital punishment for crimes committed after that date but allowed it to be imposed for crimes previously committed. "We are persuaded that, following its prospective abolition, this state's death penalty no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency and no longer serves any legitimate penological purpose," Connecticut Supreme Court justices wrote in Thursday's ruling.
The government of St. Louis County extended for at least 24 hours a state of emergency in Ferguson, Missouri, which has been the scene of protests a year after an unarmed black teenager was killed by a white police officer. County Executive Steve Stenger extended the state of emergency in Ferguson, a suburb of the city of St. Louis, through at least Friday, said his spokeswoman, Allison Blood. In consultation with police, Stenger put the state of emergency in place on Monday for Ferguson and surrounding areas after police officers shot and critically wounded a man in an exchange of gunfire Sunday night, marring what had been a day of peaceful demonstrations.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The general manager of the landmark Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue expressed optimism about reopening soon even as building inspectors worked Thursday to determine why part of the ceiling collapsed during a show, injuring three people.
Lawyers for the city of Chicago will appear before the Illinois Supreme Court in November to argue that a law aimed at shoring up two of the city's financially shaky public pensions is constitutional, according to a Thursday court order. A Cook County judge had ruled against the law in late July, saying it violates pension protections in the Illinois constitution. The ruling was a setback for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has repeatedly said he will not raise taxes without pension reforms.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Ed Ogaz and his family have farmed for decades in New Mexico's famed Hatch Valley — an area known internationally for its green chiles. But in recent years, Ogaz has watched helplessly as the spicy staple has seen a decline because of drought, increased competition and a lack of chile pickers.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The University of Texas will move a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis away from the center of campus, but statues of other Confederate figures will remain, school president Greg Fenves announced Thursday.