On Monday the legality of the death penalty law of the state of Connecticut was upheld by the state’s highest court. In its ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the imposition of the death penalty on a defendant convicted of having murdered a 13-year-old boy by bludgeoning him with a sledgehammer.
The Associated Press related the following details of the horrendous crime committed by Todd Rizzo:
Rizzo confessed that he struck up a conversation with Stanley Edwards IV as the boy rode his bicycle by Rizzo's house in Waterbury on Sept. 30, 1997. Rizzo was an 18-year-old former Marine at the time. The seventh-grader knew and trusted Rizzo through Rizzo's job at a video store, and he followed Rizzo into Rizzo's backyard under the guise of hunting snakes, prosecutors said.
Rizzo told police that he then straddled Stanley "like a horse" and hit him 13 times with the 3-pound sledgehammer as the boy begged him to stop. Rizzo later told authorities that he was interested in serial killers and wanted to know what it felt like to kill somebody. He dumped the boy's body nearby.
The decisions (to uphold the death penalty and to allow the death of Rizzo) terminated the appeals of both issues filed by the convicted murderer. Legal counsel for Rizzo cited several challenges to their client’s sentence to death row, including the constitutionality of state-sponsored killing of those convicted of capital crimes.
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Photo of Todd Rizzo: AP Images