Justice Peter T. Zarella will retire from the Connecticut Supreme Court at the end of December after nearly 16 years as one of the court's most conservative members.
The 67-year-old Zarella announced his retirement Thursday.
Zarella was among the dissenting justices when the Supreme Court abolished the state's death penalty last year, and he accused the majority of tailoring its ruling based on personal beliefs. He also dissented when the court approved gay marriage in 2008.
Zarella joined the high court in January 2001 after being nominated by then-Republican Gov. John Rowland. He previously served on the state Appellate Court and was a Superior Court judge for four years.
Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers praised Zarella for his "meticulous" research skills and being an ambassador for the court system.
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