Apr 13, 2008

The Justice Journal -Three Strikes

Above is a link to the April issue of a newspaper called "The Justice Journal"which this month includes a Commentary piece that I wrote on the three strikes law debate, entitled "Deal-away-a-Crime-system must change'" The editors title choice, not mine)

It isn't possible for me to link directly to the article- because the papers online version is in adobe-acrobat Pdf format, follow the link I've posted to the homepage and then click on "current issue"..Then click on the April 2008 link and this will open up a pdf window to the front page.

The "Versus" section can be clicked to from the page number guide, and it starts on page 3. From there you can read all of the commentaries, beginning with the Republican legislator who is pro-three strikes-Or, you can skip ahead to my piece on page 26 .

The Justice Journal is a Connecticut based print newspaper that is devoted to Prevalent criminal justice issues within the State., with a focus on citizen involvement. They started their
distributuion in fairfied county are currently branching out to New haven county, with Hartford county distribution scheduled early 2009. They presently have an 80,000- paper distribution within the state of connecticut.
Their reporter staff is very impressive for a small free press newspaper, and includes, among others, the likes of Andy Thibault, famous writer and former journalist for The Connecticut Law Review, as well as regular commentary from criminal justice pros like Richard Meehan Jr, a well respected Bridgeport Attorney, author and Court TV consultant. The founder and publisher of the paper Doug Johnston was a top dog at Conde Nast publications and was charged with all of their new start-up ventures for many years. He is a long time Connecticut resident and involved with crime prevention journalism.

The paper can be found in locations where most free press small papers are; grocery stores, libraries, newsstands, as well as Police stations in all counties, including Hartford, New haven
and all State Police offices as well. Apparently, they also send out copies to every member of the Connecticut General Assembly, both houses, which means that some of them actually read it. This was my main impetus for writing the commentary-I hoped to at least plant a seed or two with even one legislator re the experience of crime victims in this state and the lack of prosecutorial conscientiousness that defines too many of our courts.

Now when I was asked to write the commentary I was under the impression that it was going to be their typical Point/counter-point format that was "The Versus" column format for all of the previous issues. ie Two opposing opinions on one subject concerning crime and punishment. Aprils issue had a total of five opinions published-with all but one in favor of three strikes law including a long time legislator in the Conn General assembly. The one opposition was not surprising coming from a member of the "Pardon Project" albeit a rambling and incoherent scolding of the Connecticut populas for threes trikes as well for " painting al criminals with the same brush" ummmm No-just the sociopaths that committ vciolent crimes over and over.

In any event, there is clearly strong feelings among the citizens of Connecticut regarding The whole three strikes issue And this passion is understandable when considering that there has been a veritable outbreak of sexual assaults, home invasions and murders which have stolen the lives of a bunch of innocent humna beings and left others wounded and grieving . And All of these crimes had one thing in common; they were all committed by recently paroled criminals with extensive criminal histories. All of thier previous criminal cases had been resolved via Plea deals.

I encourage everyone to get involved with these important issues in any way that you can. avial yourselves and your children about criminals that prey upon the public. It is a difficult and uncomfortable subject but we must Talk about it.
keep track of our state legislator's positions and voting history regarding all criminal judicial matters-Remember their words and their actions when it comes time for us to to vote for our area legislators. Let them squabble amongst themselves about taxes etc but matters of life and death such as laws and criminal sentencing, these are sacred issues surrounding life itself; bi partisan politics have no place here.

Write your local reps with your concerns and wishes. Organize neighborhood watches and develop a plan for encountering potential violence, both WITHIN your home or outside of it-while in your car for example.

Thank you for reading, be safe be well.

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