Dec 27, 2010

Judiciary Committee Co-Chairmen Both Tapped By Malloy

This ought to be interesting. At least Mike Lawlor will be off the Judiciary committee and out of the House of Representatives. For this, I am grateful.

Lets see if Mr. Lawlor has any skill with the practical implementation of the myriad of legislation, some of which he has the audacity to "lay claim to" after the political dust settles.. Translation: he has a habit of taking credit for popular new laws and reforms at voting time, when in fact, he, with his considerable influence over the weaker members in the House,(of which there are an abundance) usually crushed the very legislation that he later proclaims is his brain child within his election time advertising. This audacity seems to stem from a certainty that the majority of the CT residents a) don't know what is best for them, and b) don't pay attention to what is going on in the house and senate anyway. Ironically, this the has overtones of the BUSH-ESQUE "fodder units" referrals, and the mindset that accompanies such verbiage.

A classic example;  The hotly debated " three strikes law" that was demanded by the Connecticut public  in the wake of the Petit family murders. Lawlor, an attorney and former prosecutor, did all he could to fight the notion of a standardized sentencing law that would have greatly limited prosecutorial discretion. Instead, when the public temper increased, due to the release of even more details concerning the considerable criminal backgrounds of the two paroled men that killed three members of the Petit family members, emerged, Lawlor mocked the very concept of a three strikes law and stalemated the house on the vote. As a result the state wound up with some mishmash "persistent offender law" that is rarely if ever actually used.

And then to add insult to injury, many months later, Lawlor mendaciously claimed to be the "author of a new three strikes legislation" in his election pamphlet. He did not say "persistent offender law", he actually used the words Three Strike Law, hedging his bets that the average voter wouldn't know the difference anyway. This sneaky lowly maneuver typifies the man the legislator and the human being.

So we the people of Connecticut are left with a persistent offender law that has rarely, if ever since, been actually used in the courts. The only exception is  perhaps as a bargaining tool to encourage a defendant to take a plea for a lesser charge as an incentive to avoid a jury trial and wind up convicted and thus eligible for the already dusty "new" persistent offender sentencing law. Then techinally  the prosecutor or Judge  is alllowed to dole out a stricter sentence based upon a repeat offender status. However, this is only with certain crimes and not crimes that the defendant committed or was arrested. The record then only reflects "convictions" in the past a string of plea bargained down charges that reside on the OFFICIAL criminal record as a result of all of this nonsense.

I would say that Lawlor is the consummate politician, but he is actually more dangerous and morally flawed than that phrase implies. I am actually growing some respect for soon to be Governor Malloy, if in fact he made this move with Lawlor intelligently, with any of the aforementioned as considerations. We'll have to wait and see.