Sep 2, 2015

Connecticut's Prospective Death Penalty Repeal a Predictable Farce

If it didn't happen one way, it would happen another.  When the horrifically untimely "Prospective" Death Penalty Repeal was passed by a slim margin in 2012 by the Connecticut Legislature everybody in the know, knew that the men that were sitting on death row in Connecticut when the repeal was passed, would never be put to death.

As all on-board lawyers were happy to point out, historically every other state where Prospective DP Repeals were passed, by the very nature of the prospective language, held the door was wide open for every lawyer to argue (successfully) that if the State decided that the death Penalty was cruel and unusual punishment at a particular juncture, then it only followed reason that it could not and should not be imposed retrospectively upon their client because ....well basically,' it just wasn't fair.'  Pardon the sarcastic  summation but this is in fact what their arguments boiled down to.

Mike Lawlor, then influential Connecticut Legislator and Co - chair of the Connecticut Judiciary Committee, largely instigated and co-authored the 2012 Repeal bill as well as the new Capital Punishment law that prevailed in it's stead. Lawlor and admittedly more subdued compatriot,then Senator McDonald also co-chaired the Judiciary Committee now Supreme Court Justice McDonald, seemed eager to point out that A) Connecticut was one of the last New England States to abolish the Death Penalty and furthermore in every other State whereby the Death Penalty was repealed "prospectively", the aforementioned actual application wound up being tossed out in the higher courts time and again, and not one convicted murderer on death row that committed their murders while the death penalty was the presiding law were ever executed as a result.

What just transpired within Connecticut's Supreme Court in effect washed away the need for any of those silly time consuming legal arguments also known as predestined due process as the end result were already smugly predicted by a veritable gaggle of Lawyers Legislators, Anti- Death penalty Activists.and the Governors hand picked yes men.

Of course this was all done after the Prospective Death Penalty Repeal Bill was passed, at which point those who naively trusted the proponents and authors of the new Capital Punishment bill as well as newly appointed Governor Malloy who signed it into law, discovered that this "prospective" business was nothing more than a disingenuous farce; a plastic bone thrown to the reluctant legislators who were on the fence (and would not have voted to pass the bill otherwise, not to mention something to soften the blow and quell the loud rumblings of our States law abiding citizens, still reeling from a succession of particularly brutal murders all of which happened because of the ineptitude, ill placed liberalism,  and straight out corruption of our State's Judicial system.

Aug 4, 2015

The dangers of turning police officers into revenue generators.

In April, several days after North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager stopped Walter Scott for a busted taillight and then fatally shot him, the usual cable-news transmogrification of    victim into superpredator ran into problems.

The dash cam showed Scott being pulled over while traveling at a nerdy rate of speed, using his left turn signal to pull into a parking lot and having an amiable conversation with Slager until he realized he'd probably get popped for nonpayment of child support.

At which point he bolted out of the car and hobbled off. Slager then shot him. Why didn't the cop just jog up and grab him? Calling what the obese 50-year-old Scott was doing "running" really stretches the bounds of literary license

But maybe the question to ask is: Why did Scott run? The answer came when the New York Times revealed Scott to be a man of modest means trapped in an exhausting hamster wheel: He would get a low-paying job, make some child support payments, fall behind on them, get fined, miss a payment, get jailed for a few weeks, lose that job due to absence, and then start over at a lower-paying job. From all apparent evidence, he was a decent schlub trying to make things work in a system engineered to make his life miserable and recast his best efforts as criminal behavior.

Recently, two more deaths of African Americans that have blown up in the media follow a pattern similar to Scott's. Sandra Bland in Texas and Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati were each stopped for minor traffic infractions (failing to use turn signal, missing front license plate), followed by immediate escalation by the officer into rage, and then an official story that is obviously contradicted by the video (that the officer tried to "de-escalate" the tension with Bland; that the officer was dragged by DuBose's car). In both cases, the perpetrator of a minor traffic offense died.  Continued

Aug 1, 2015

Human Trafficking 30 Million Dollar Industry - Suffering Immeasurable

Men, women, and children are sold into a $150 billion annual market for sex and labor. This is happening globally, and domestically; in urban and suburban areas; in hotels, restaurants, and on street corners. Slavery is wrapped up in almost every industry’s supply chain, tainting the food we eat, the clothes we buy, and the electronics we love. After the international drug trade, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second- largest criminal industry in the world. Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation

Sex trafficking is often highlighted in the media but is not the primary form of modern-day slavery. Using coercion, violence and deception, labor traffickers force victims to work against their will in industries that range from small mom-and-pop shops to enormous mineral extraction camps for commodities such as gold. Some individuals enter into work agreements willingly but accrue enormous debt to the trafficker in the form of food, shelter, documentation, and travel fees. The traffickers inflate these costs and tack on enormous interest rates that condemn their new hires to a life of underpaid labor or slavery.

 Victims of sex trafficking are forced to work in the commercial sex trade against their will. Physical and emotional violence is an intrinsic part of this industry, which preys on individuals in conditions of physical, economic, and psychological vulnerability. To keep them working, victims are threatened, lied to, and beaten by traffickers and pimps, who control their money. This practice exists within all sectors of the sex industry, including street prostitution, strip clubs, residential brothels, pornography stores and massage parlors.

C.S.E.C is the sexual abuse of a minor for economic gain. The majority of child victims come from environments of extreme instability, and most have suffered sexual abuse prior to their commercial exploitation. Homeless and street youth, or those facing food and shelter insecurities are also easy targets.

Traffickers can be strangers or acquaintances, family members or friends. The economic, physical and social vulnerability of most victims makes them easy prey for traffickers, who lure them in with promises for a chance at a better life. Many come from the same country or cultural background as their victims, enabling them to easily exploit the particular vulnerabilities of their targets. Other traffickers employ violence to kidnap and maintain control over their victims. There is abundant money to be made, soaring demand and little risk due to difficulties in identification of the crime. A high burden of proof for legal teams lowers the barrier of entry for the men and women who profit from human trafficking.
Why does modern-day slavery exist?

Because there is skyrocketing demand

Consumer demand for cheap products, labor and services is enormous. In the commercial sex industry business is booming. Traffickers can work in virtually every country around the world and move to wherever the greatest profit can be extracted. Their prime recruitment zones shift rapidly to best exploit opportunities. Combating the crime is complicated. Its covert nature coupled with improperly trained government and civic bodies, corruption and lax enforcement of laws and statutes create the perception of low risk for traffickers.

Dear friends, In the past three months, the remains of dozens of victims of human trafficking have been uncovered in jungle camps in Malaysia and Thailand. These gruesome discoveries are painful reminders of the reality of modern-day slavery in Southeast Asia and around the world. Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 30 million people enslaved today — and, as the U.S. State Department’s new Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report shows, the international community is not doing nearly enough to fight it. The countries ranking among the worst offenders for human trafficking in the latest TIP report include Thailand, Belarus, North Korea and Iran. Malaysia, surprisingly, was removed from its place in the lowest rung of the TIP report. I urge you to join me in using today — World Day Against Trafficking in Persons — as an opportunity to raise your voice against modern-day slavery. Please join me in the fight by learning more, spreading the word, and supporting survivors of human trafficking. You can play an important part in ending modern slavery at home and overseas. Please Help. Not For Sale Campaign

Jul 20, 2015

Petit Family Foundation 5K Road Race Big Success

Close to 1,500 people lined up to run and walk in the GE 5K road race supporting the Petit Family Foundation on Sunday.

Karen Patane had never raced before, but she decided a year ago she wanted to train for this race.
“I really wanted this one. This was on my bucket list to learn to run. The cause, it’s wonderful. 5K’s when you have a charity behind them, they bring something special,” said Patane.

She started training a year ago. Sunday, she finally reached her goal as she crossed the finish line. Patane doesn’t know the Petit family personally, but she knows their story.

“They’ve come through and made something wonderful out of a horrible tragedy,” said Patane.
In 2007, Doctor William Petit lost his wife, Jennifer and two daughters, Hayley and Michaela in a violent home invasion in Cheshire. The following year, the inaugural race was held and it’s been growing ever since.
“The turnout and everything they do is just so wonderful for the community,” Jan Campbell, of New Milford, said.

Race director Bob Hesline added, “It touches my heart every year to do this. It’s a personal thing.”
By the end of 2015, the Petit Family Foundation will have raised $2 million for charity, half of that coming through the 5K race over the past eight years. The rest was raised through the annual golf tournament.
“It’s really been a team effort with the community and the region reaching out to help other people,” Dr. Petit said.

He chose charities that were close to his family's heart. The first is education for women in science, because his daughter Hayley wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor. Money is also donated toward MS education, which his late wife suffered from. The final piece of the foundation is money to support those affected by violence.

“Obviously this was devastating violence and violence affects many people with a ripple out to the communities, so we thought helping people affected by violence was critical,” said Dr. Petit.
Dr. Petit hopes his family's legacy will live on as he turns a personal tragedy into change.

Jul 11, 2015

Petit Family Road Race Is Here Again!

"Be The Change"
GE Pasta Dinner on Saturday, July 18th
GE 5k Road Race on Sunday, July 19th     |     860.479.1436     |

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Jun 29, 2015

Michaela Petit Inspires New State Flower

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed legislation to honor Michaela Petit's life by establishing a children's state flower in her name.

The 11-year-old Cheshire girl and her 48-year-old mother and 17-year-old sister were murdered in a shocking home invasion in July 2007.

Michaela also coined the Petit Family Foundation's "Be the Change" Mantra, via her Favorite quote on Facebook which was " You must be the Change that you wish to see in the world"

These words were originally spoken by Mahatma Gandhi, and came to the attention of the State and far beyond when it was discovered that at a mere eleven years old Michaela Petit had the sensitivity idealism and kindness of a much older soul.

The is a non profit organization that was formed in the wake of the home invasion that took Michaela her sister Hayley and her mother Jennifer's lives in July 2007.

P.F.F sponsors many now annual events that benefit victims violent crime people suffering with chronic illness such as Multiple sclerosis as well as giving scholarships to girls and women especially in medicine and the sciences. Lone survivor Dr.William  Petit was an endocrinologist, his wife Jennifer a pediatric nurse and Hayley was about to enter her first year of school at Dartmouth where she was planning to be a doctor like her dad.

Jun 24, 2015

Milford Police Officer's Death Ruled A Suicide

 The Milford Police Department received notification from the State of Connecticut Medical Examiner’s Office Monday afternoon regarding the cause of death in the investigation of the death of off-duty Milford police officer Michael Compare.

“It was determined that Michael Compare died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. On behalf of Chief Keith L. Mello and the Milford Police Department, this day is a tragic loss for the family; friends and community Michael belonged to and so proudly served. We thank you for your kind words and support regarding Michael. Michael will be greatly missed,” the Police Department said in a statement.

Jun 23, 2015

Great Program and Website for Cessation of interpersonal Violence


.Futures without violence 

Transforming Men and Boys to End Violence Against Women

Title: Transforming Men and Boys to End Violence Against Women
Date Recorded: Thursday, May 7th, 2015
Description: As we develop a deeper and more complex understanding of the underlying root causes of violence against women and children, we have been challenged to examine our current approaches to engaging with men and boys. Understanding male socialization and the history of childhood exposure to violence and trauma is critical to our ability to develop prevention and intervention responses that are humanistic & compassionate and don’t minimize responsibility. Our presenters share their passion for creating change, taking risks and believing in the possibility of healing and transformation for all.
Learning Objectives:
  1. Expand our understanding of the broader impact of male socialization and trauma on women, men and children.
  2. Increase knowledge and techniques for applying a compassion and accountability framework to engaging with men and boys.
  3. Explore promising multicultural intervention and prevention approaches to engaging with men and boys.
  • Juan Carlos Are├án, Director of the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities, a project of Casa de Esperanza
  • Erik Bringswhite, Youth Consultant, Motivational Speaker, Trainer, Community Engagement, Youth and Adult Diversion
  • Terri Strodthoff, Founder and Executive Director, Alma Center, Inc.
  • Sam Simmons, SAFE Families Manager, Be More Project and Healing Generations

Jun 21, 2015

Black Church/ Pastor Shooting Probable Hate Crime

Connecticut police are investigating the possibility that the Memorial Day drive-by shooting of a Hartford pastor was a hate crime.
Rev. Dr. Augustus Sealy was shot three times while planting flags outside First Church of Nazarene at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, police said.
Sealy is being treated at an area hospital for gunshot wounds to his shoulder and leg and is expected to survive.
Police have not yet identified a suspect and are investigating whether Sealy was targeted.

Augustus Sealy, 54, pastor of the Hartford First Church of Nazarene, was shot and has remained strong, said his wife, Sharon. WFSB

Augustus Sealy, 54, pastor of the Hartford First Church of Nazarene, was shot and has remained strong, said his wife, Sharon.

"There were some statements made at the scene (by the shooter) that certainly keep the idea of a hate crime open," Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley told reporters Tuesday night.
Foley did not reveal what the gunman's words were and declined to specify why Sealy may have been shot.
"We respect our victims quite a bit and it's far too early ... to speculate" on the motive, Chief James Rovella said, according to the Hartford Courant.
Authorities are also reviewing whether Sealy's shooting was related to another one just 15 minutes later. That victim, 27-year-old Robert Jones, of Hartford, is in serious condition.
Police said they are looking for a black Nissan or Honda sedan from which shots were fired at both scenes.

Sealy was shot while planting flags outside his church on Sunday.
Previous Next
  • Sealy was shot while planting flags outside his church on Sunday.
  • Hartford residents gathered Tuesday night in a vigil for the wounded pastor.

Sealy was shot while planting flags outside his church on Sunday.

Hartford residents gathered in a vigil Tuesday night to honor Sealy, whom they said is well-liked and caring.
Sealy's wife, Sharon, said her husband is in pain but has remained strong.
"He hasn't lost any hope," Sharon Sealy told NBC Connecticut. "You know, this is something that happened that was really terrible and shouldn't have happened and we've already prayed for that person who actually committed the crime."

Pastor Shooting Possible Hate Crime

Apr 25, 2015


Finally after a long drawn out trial that ended with a jury deadlocked over convicted murderer Jodi Arias's sentence for the murder of her on again- off again" dating partner" Travis Alexander, a Judge has handed down a sentence.

Already convicted of murder in the first degree last year the jury remained hopelessly at odds regarding Arias's sentence.

Finally years after Travis Alexander's brutal murder, a Judge sentenced Arias to life in Prison rather than the looming death penalty which the state of Arizona still uses, albeit sparingly  when a Judge or Jury finds enough aggravating factors to warrant this ultimate sentence.

The sentence has been a long time coming;

Last year, after an arduous and emotional trial, the beleaguered Jury became hung on the sentencing portion of the murder trial, something that is akin to a mini trial of it's own.

The trial was televised and given massive media attention due to peripheral issues, such as the fact that Ms. Arias is a woman, a textbook psychopath, a remorseless killer and happens to be somewhat attractive.

To me these should not be the reason a murder case gets a bombardment of media attention whilst the millions of other murdered women each year often barely get a mention.

Sadly, this murder will likely be remembered for lurid details such as the collection of photos that were retrieved from the then deceased Mr. Alexander's washing machine (yes you read correctly) where Arias tried in vain to destroy evidence, placing her at the scene of the bloody crime and even showing photos of her foot and leg in what appears to be her dragging the then deceased Travis into his shower, where he was found days later by worried friends.

There were also the pictures that Arias and Alexander took of each other during that day's sexual romp, pictures that the  media had a veritable feast over.

However those photos were to be Arias's undoing as she left the camera, which belonged to Travis,  believing the water would destroy the evidence. The photos were not only time stamped placing her at the scene on the day of the murder, but they also gave Police a great deal of information and proof about the unfolding of the day and the murder.

Had Jodi Arias been extremely plain and had there been no titillating photos and tapes I doubt very much that this case would be such an interest to the likes of  Nancy Grace and every national print and web  publication with their  respective tweeters.

A man was murdered.

Brutally and with aforethought cunning rage and detachment. A family is shattered and will never escape those images.

I am glad that some modicum of justice was doled out  by a Judge for MS Arias's Sentencing although I strongly feel that with Arias's clear Borderline Personality Disorder (ie attachment issues being drawn to unattainable partners and a history of unstable relationships  usually stemming from low self esteem often fostered by an abusive, absent or negligent father figure ie  Read Lenore Walker chronicles men who batter murder and predate.

In this case packaged in a " crazy like a fox" attractive seductive woman/child, this was a combustible union deemed to end badly especially after the first signs of stalking and vandalism ( Arias is said to have slit Travis's tires while he was in his condo with a another date.)

Has Justice been served?

No. When parole is a possibility the words Life Sentence are a complete misnomer.

The aggravating factors of pre meditation were abundant.

Bringing a rental car to Travis's condo, blonde for years, Arias dyed her hair just prior to her trip to Travis's home, never mind the three versions she gave over the year regarding the day of the murder to Police.

The missing gun reported stolen from her grandmothers weeks prior to the murder does imply a pre-meditation as do all of the aforementioned facts.

According to all accounts, Travis owned no guns.

She lied to Police for years and was given plenty of opportunity to do so.

Add to this, Arias showed an overt dispassion  during her police questioning at one point standing on her head whilst she believed she was alone in the interrogation room.

She was so unfettered by the situation - a man that she'd just made love to days earlier had been found brutally murdered and left in his bathroom and she was standing on her head in the questioning room the moment the detectives left.

That was the real Jodi Arias.

Behind the crocodile tears and affected soft spoken meek demeanor, this was the same Jodi Arias that unabashedly informed a journalist years ago that  " there wasn't a Jury out there that will ever convict me"




Apr 22, 2015

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