Apr 4, 2008

In Killing's Aftermath, State's Penal System Again hotly debated

Stances over violent crime clash once again between the Governor and high profile house democrats, after another home invasion that ended in murder and severe injury...

Representative Mike Lawlor was uncharacteristically forthcoming re the states problem with plea bargaining within a recent press interview following the home invasion, citing , in effect, that the three strikes law that the governor has been strongly advocating is not the answer, and that she should instead be focusing on the issue that some prosecutors are dropping down criminal charges within plea deals -with the insinuation that this is reckless-and in doing so are dropping down the co-occurring appropriate sentencing for the crimes that were actually committed . IE the case in New Britain involved a criminal just released from an 8 yr sentence for sexually assaulting a child-Rep McDonald and Lawlor both have implied that the prosecutor who made the plea deal with that defendant resulting in the charges being dropped down a level and thus a relatively light sentence imposed. As I have repeatedly stated myself this rote plea bargaining practice put our citizens needlessly at risk constantly in effect, the law abiding public becomes prey for all of these irresponsibly sentenced, potentially dangerous criminals.

My question is, why is this the first time that Representative Lawlor is addressing this longstanding problem within our courts, framed as it was within a defensive retort to Governor Rell's insinuation that the democrats within the Assembly are not tough on crime, in part due to their refusal to pass a strict three strikes bill?

This plea deals with compromised sentences and charges are effected time after time again by our courts after the state has gone through all of the effort of apprehending and arresting the criminal, gathering evidence & witnesses, crafting warrants and carefully building a case.

All of this, only to have the courts squander the opportunity that they've finally been presented with-they've got him dead to rights- a dangerous criminal, and most fortunate to have done so before he or she has caused loss of life; This is when we expect our prosecutors and judges to appropriately convict and sentence and get them off the streets where they can do no more harm.
As as we've seen illustrated by this recent rash of violent crimes, the severity of the crimes committed by these repeat offenders invariably escalates-they rarely move down the criminal food chain. This translates into the the state of connecticut being given a heads up for future lives lost or more violence against innocent citizens being committed-And yet, they continue to throw away this opportunity to prevent future crimes from happening at the hands of these criminals and the cost in human suffering is staggering.

It is really no wonder that so few people want to think about all of this, let alone actively participate in remedying it. But citizens of Connecticut, we must! For if we do not address and remedy this dire situation, it will surely arrive upon our own doorstep (or someone that we love) sooner or later.

I found this very appropos quote last year and although it is somewhat simplistic, I feel that it is most applicable here. I wish I could find out who said it.

" Evil exists when good men do nothing."

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