Nov 27, 2007

Mystery paper by top Conn prosecutor cites holes in justice system

This is the third article that I've read about this mystery essay reportedly written by a "top Connecticut prosecutor", about the Petit family crimes in Cheshire.

For some reason, (could it possibly be political...) this paper has not been released to the mainstream media or even available  in it's entirety, I am diligently working on finding a source as I write this.
It sounds like a dead-on, honest appraisal from within our Connecticut court system, including elaboration regarding the infinite number of holes in the that system. From sentencing procedures like the over- plea bargaining of violent crimes, paroling dangerous repeat offenders, lack of communication between key departments,( IE criminal records depts and the Parole board) and much much more.

As it stands, only excerpts of the opinion piece are available through a few news sources, including the WTNH link in the title header of this post. This WTNH source offers as much as any other source, including a similar piece in Newsday from a few days ago.

The real question is..... why it wasn't published and why is the media only receiving tidbits of its content? I am willing to bet that the reason this paper has not fully seen the light of day is very much political, as it certainly smells to me like the kind of embarrassing inside information regarding the ineptitude of our courts and parole systems, that many people do not want exposed.

Reading only the portions available, one finds it reveals the kind of information that various government agencies would not want to be made public, especially in light of the Cheshire killings- the obvious screw ups involved in the irresponsible paroled release of the two men that brutalized and murdered Jennifer Petit and her two daughters,

With what can be gleaned from the portion that has been made made public, I am left to wonder what eye opening contents are in the remainder, and I am greatly disturbed by the mystery, the lack of availability and seeming media freeze. Where are those dogged journalists from the Courant,shouting about free information act when you need them?
In any case, I ask all my readers to click over to the WTNH link and read their excerpt, if you have not already done so. I am sure that you'll be quite surprised by the admission from a felon regarding the futility of the "short lease" of the state's GPS system, that is when they bother to use it. You'll recall that Joshua Komisarjevsky had his ankle bracelet removed one day prior to breaking back into houses with his friend from the prison halfway house Steven Hayes.

I am not arguing the point that komisarjevsky should have had the tracking anklet on for longer, but moreover that he shouldn't have been paroled after less than half of the judges intended sentence, but if he was let out early for any reason, that tracker should have stayed on him for the longest possible duration in order to protect the public from a man who had amassed 28 felony break-ins by the age of 26. Almost every single break-in was in fact a home invasion as he admittedly preferred to break into houses where the owners were home-usually sleeping! This man and his type of crimes were a time bomb waiting to happen, and the judge recognized it as did the prosecutor presiding over his last bunch of crimes.

Somehow the parole board was only in possession of one single  arrest report, whilst making their decision to grant this man early release Parole. This is not an anomaly, it turns out to be a Connecticut Parole norm; a long standing dispute between various states attorney's offices and the Parole board regarding who would absorb copying costs of the criminal's complete files, (  I imagine also an issue who would do said copying as it is very time consuming)

Apparently this entire issue was compounded by the fact that the current system sent some of the paperwork on these criminal's court cases ultimately to Meriden, where they are filed hard copy amongst hundreds of thousands of other criminal's cases!  Thus, for the parole board to get a complete picture of the inmate those records would need to be pulled from Meriden.

All of this resulted in a administrative stand-off of sorts, which all culminated into a complacency which resulted in the sexual assaults and brutal murders of three innocent human beings.

 Crimes such as the ones that Komisarjevsky was committing his whole life called for very lengthy  incarceration after just one offense. The first time he was in someones house while they lay sleeping as he listened to their breath often only feet away from the unsuspecting homeowner, he should have been put in prison for a lengthy sentence. Treating first offenses like this lightly allowing pleas to lesser charges, will only give these predators more bites at the apple with regard to endangering the safety of the public.

Komisarjevsky went to a beer party to celebrate having his ankle bracelet removed and shortly thereafter escalated his criminal behaviour to it's furthest form - pure evil. But its not like Connecticut justice system didn't see it coming. This was not a first time offender, nor second nor third, And when I hear the mumbles of " well he never did anything violent before how were we to know...?" I say have some commonsense. Criminals escalate their crimes. and certain markers show us who is most likely to become a predator and this guy had all the earmarks -- but no one was paying any attention. We had him, we caught him dead to rites numerous times, evidence, witnesses confessional statements!

We need first and foremost to focus upon public safety. While justice for the Petits is demanded and essential, justice is discussed here as an ancillary subject. Sadly the call for justice many times comes only after the legal system fails in protecting those they are sworn to, not to mention the very same people whose tax dollars fund this system. Changes made at the top- the courts, namely the way plea deals are made as well as sentencing, the prisons (read here as more space for violent offenders), and most importantly the parole boards- inevitably will reduce the threat to our society.

From what I have read, this opinion piece does cite some very important facts that many Connecticut citizens are simply not aware of, including a discussion about the nature of the crime of burglary, and it's connection to violent crimes such as sexual assaults, kidnapping and murder.

As a former victim of violent crime I have availed myself to as much information as possible on the education and knowledge of what makes criminals tick. Hence, this burglary and violent crime connection is something that I have long been aware of. In fact when I read that Joshua komisarjevsky had robbed houses prior to the Petit break-in and had been found to have stolen personal articles from women in the households-including lingerie and framed photos of some women, I was not surprised-- Many sexual predators start out as a peeping toms, and/or even a "simple flasher" (although now we know that that term is a misnomer, as it is anything but simple in reality) and in time they will move up the offense ladder to robbery, break-ins to rape and murder.

It is facts like these, about the psychology of predators, that are essential when dealing with sentencing and law structure. I know that this kind of information has a crucial place in our courts, as well as within our mainstream population. Remember that the entire motive for the Petit crimes was sexual assault-robbery was incidental or secondary and the murders were an attempt to cover their crimes. Educating people about the ways of the predator will only serve to protect us, as a people, from them. Sociopaths are simply the worst of the predators, but they are just one brand.

It may seem odd, but it was through the amassing of this kind of knowledge, that empowered me to make the transition from victim to survivor, and it is this same awareness that will save many women-and men- from becoming victims themselves. It is only part of the overall solution to our State's court crisis, but it is an essential part.

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