CONNECTICUT LEGISLATION - CONNECTICUT NETWORK - legislation, programming, New Haven
The special session of the general assembly for the judicial reform amendment proposals began at 5 pm this evening it is still in session and it is on cable TV live still as of 1 am Jan 23rd. This link will take you to the local station in your area that is broadcasting the legislative session as it continues including the votes as they happen.
Needless to say, Attitudes are quite diverse with the usual obvious differences between party lines and between members who live and work in the inner cities, opposed to the majority of legislators who live in outlying suburbs. Oddly enough however those attitudes towards toughening up on crime were inverse to what one might expect from the people who are exposed to violent crime the most; The city dwelling legislators that spoke were by and large in favor of less incarceration, and more rehabilative programs such as the ones that both the Petit family killers were given the gift of participating in, as they made their ways in and out of the system after various arrests and prison stints
Update JAN 23 9 am
Much was said about crime being the result of hopelessness- And while this too was once my view, after becoming a victim of violence myself and thus studying criminal physchology, I have come to discoverthat plain evil does also exist(SOCIOPATHOLOGY) and in much greater numbers than the average person might want to comprehend, including members of the general assembly. This is called cognitive dissonance, and we need to learn about this, and grow past it particularly our lawmakers and enforcers.
A great deal of personal soul searching re these issues was shared. One legislator even went so far as to say that he could personally get rid of most crime in inner cities by simply giving criminals a15000 a year job-thus "HOPE" This is ironic in light of the fact that not only were the Cheshire killers employed full time, but they both had decent paying jobs as required by the state for Parole and indeed assisted by the re entry programs that our tax dollars pay for.
It is a well known fact that many inner city young men admittedly turn to drug dealing because of the allure of big money rather than working a 9-5 minimum wage job that they feel is bogus when they can make the quick buck with the sale of drugs.
A good deal was said, some of posturing for the cameras as well as the constituents ( this is an election year..), But many other members were eloqent, impassioned and appeared sincere in thier efforts and moral conscience regarding the states judicial failings.
The senate passed the package, but voted down the three strike amendment. The assembly went into the wee hours of the morning with a final vote approving the remaining reform bill. Next it goes to the governor and she is obviously expected to approve whats left of it.
Detailed accounts of individual senators and legislators input and the highs and lows of this session will follow later today.