Apr 21, 2012

Racial Justice Act Used to Set Aside North Carolina Death Sentence - NYTimes.com

Good article in the NY Times about the National death penalty debate.

"The real purpose is to end the death penalty, to make it so complicated and so expensive that they win by attrition.”

Racial Justice Act Used to Set Aside North Carolina Death Sentence - NYTimes.com

Apr 20, 2012

Legislators explain ‘difficult’ vote on death penalty | Greenwich Post

Once again, I reiterate to the people of Connecticut who are against this death penalty repeal: There is something you can do.

Please get involved in the voting process. If You do not understand how certain legislators become legislators - do not be ashamed - find out!

Watch the political careers of the members of the Connecticut Legislature - ie The Ct. Senate and The Ct House of Representatives, the members that voted for this dangerous repeal Bill. Connecticut has a mostly democratic judiciary committee Senate and House of Representatives. Fortunately in the past we've always had a republican Governor to balance out this lopsided state Government. This bi-political balance has worked well for Connecticut in the past, keeping the zealots  from dictating state policy for every liberal issue that comes in front of the house and Senate.

However with the "win" by Democratic nominee Dan Malloy, former lawyer prosecutor and mayor of Stamford now in the Governors Mansion, all matters involving the criminal justice system are in the hands of the overwhelming ultra liberal criminal friendly politicians and well known state figures such as Susan Storey, very vocal DP abolitionist and Connecticut's lead public defender, Mike lawlor former co chair of the CT judiciary committee, media seeker, co-chair and now special attache to the new democratic Governor, as is his long known compatriot ex-Senator McDonald Democrat Stamford we can be assured will continue to become less of a focus of lawmakers as public safety has.

If you are unsure of who your own assembly person is, find out on the CGA website. There is no shame in not understanding how the system works, but there is no excuse for not finding out how it works once we become aware that  essential matters of crime sentencing and public safety will continue to lay in the hands of politicians who are not representing us time and time again. The death penalty issue has been rolling through the legislature for years.. Technically it was Rep Gary Holden Winfield an assemblyman from New Haven's  pet project- In reality there were far more politicians lobbying for the abolishment of the death penalty for a long time.  These same politicians also knew as long as they had a republican Governor, they would never get the death penalty repealed, because like Jodi Rell did, if it managed to get by the largely democratic legislature, it would get vetoed by the Governor.    Poll after Poll after Poll has proven that 63- 69% of the people of this state want the death penalty to remain an optional sentence for capital murder.  Period.
Yet the judiciary committee has time and again brought this bill to the table and voted it in, enabling the bill to make its way to the legislative floor.

All three political bodies, the Judiciary the Conn Senate and the House of Reps all belong to the people of this state. The exception to the voting system is the Judiciary committee, which is mostly comprised of different members of the Senate the house and people who hold higher ranking positions within the criminals justice system - these members are not voted in by we the people but rather they are voted in by their own compatriots within the political framework. Generally speaking most have degrees in law and or some very direct ties to the criminals judicial system in Connecticut.

However even the judiciary members have originated from other positions such as members of the house of reps and state Senators who each cover a different geographic area of Connecticut. The latter are voted into their slots by the people of this state!  This means that they can be voted out as well. If you read the linked article you ll see that a plethora of republicans crossed their parties official position on this Repeal and voted for THE REPEAL.  I have linked to the list of every single member of the Senate as well as the house and their accompanying votes on this bill to repeal the death penalty. Included is the judiciary committee where you will see wome of the names that are already on the lists of either the Senate or House of Representatives.

Bear in mind that the only way to vote someone out of their position in the powerful judiciary committee- and remember folks this is the place where these bill and laws and rescinding of laws originate within our states system- the members must be tracked to their home positions ie mike lawlor former co chair of judiciary was an east haven assemblyman for many terms. He kept getting voted in in east haven as assemblyman and seemingly there was little campaign against him to blast to the world his dangerous and arrogant habit of disregarding what his constituents want insofar as criminal justice matters, and constantly voted against tougher measures for violent offenders and voted for programs such as early release parole- the very same program that freed Joshua komisarjevsky after just 2.5 years in prison out of what a judge ordered to be a 9 yr sentence with 6 yrs special parole ie ankle tracking monitor the whole six years!

So as you can well note, as individuals we do have a modicum of power insofar as voting season. We have even more power collectively when we organize in our given geographic areas and we literally campaign against the legislators and senators who voted for this Repeal that as a people in multiple quinnipiac polls we stated that we were against losing the death penalty in our state. The majority spoke and the majority was ignored.  As in Mike Lawlors case, who is no longer an assemblyman nor judiciary committee co chair, since he went to work directly for Gov Malloy, he as others like him would need to be voted against by his east haven voters, and campaigned against by a large organized citizens lobbying group who can make the entire state aware of just how dangerous Mr Lawlor- or anyone like him fill in the blank- has been in issues of crime and public safety.

With such lobbying against the soft on crime legislators, and concurrently finding grooming and promoting a candidate that does represent tough on crime measures and is willing to vote accordingly.  In the last race for Mr lawlors seat a youngish woman aggressively campaigned against Lawlor but there was not enough specific information about the dangerous power that Mr Lawlor had within the Ct Legislature as well as his enormous influence within the Judiciary committee, where every abolishment bill originated.

gislators explain ‘difficult’ vote on death penalty | Greenwich Post

Apr 5, 2012

Connecticut Senate Roll Call( Voting) on The Death Penalty Repeal Bill

The list below is the final "roll call" official voting for each member of the Connecticut Senate in last night's all night session on The Judiciary committee's Bill to Repeal the Connecticut's Death penalty and Replace it with life in prison w/out the chance of parole.  This means the worst of the worst would - be killers rapists and predators from now on, will be going to trial, as their public defenders give it all they've got, hoping to procure a life sentence with the possibility of parole for their murderous clients.

And despite the rhetoric that the legislators who stand to gain the most from this abolition- (lawyers, for it equals money lining their pockets) their will be more murder more rape more "capital crime" which is really a detached way of describing terror  brutality unbelievable suffering for statistically the weakest most vulnerable people of this state - women and children -and elderly.

We have a serious responsibility now: Every single Connecticut citizen must remember which Senators voted for this Dangerous foolhardy Death Penalty Repeal,  come voting season. The same applies to each member of the Connecticutt Judiciary committee, which is comprised largely of attorneys who happen to be our lawmakers, either assemblymen or women or Senators.

For example two republican members of the Judiciary voted for this repeal when it was in its infant stage, where had it not passed it could not proceed to the Senate and the House of Representatives, the latter which of course has always been a shoe in yes vote for all abolition or "repeal" bills for the Death penalty.

Many PEOPLE OF THIS STATE are feeling angry and impotent. You ask what can we do, we, their constituents must vote them out and

I stayed up all night watching the Senators session on TV, and although I'd already heard that Senator Prague and Crisco had flipped their votes back to pro-appeal, I  held out hope for a last minute miracle of sorts.

At the very least I needed to watch the biggest mistake in history ever made by the Connecticut Senate, and the at best, naive uninformed poor  "logic" and  a great deal of pontification from Senators who would have us believe that the Dennison to repeal the death penalty in Connecticut is "the latest trend" in New England states, morally correct, beneficial to victims ie family members of murdered monetarily beneficially to the state (- citing incorrectly that a repeal will save the state money which Ive explained ad nauseum is absolutely incorrect and why)

Senate Bill 280 was passed by the Senate, 20 to 16, at 2:05 a.m. on April 5, 2012

Voting for repeal

Beth Bye of West Hartford

Steven Cassano of Manchester

Eric Coleman of Bloomfield

Joseph Crisco of Woodbridge

Eileen Daily of Westbrook

Bob Duff of Norwalk

John Fonfara of Hartford

Terry Gerratana of New Britain

Edwin Gomes of Bridgeport

Toni Harp of New Haven

Gary LeBeau of East Hartford

Carlo Leone of Stamford

Martin Looney of New Haven

Andrew Maynard of Stonington

Edward Meyer of Guilford

Anthony Musto of Trumbull

Edith Prague of Columbia

Gayle Slossberg of Milford

Andrea Stillman of New London

Donald Williams of Brooklyn

Opposing repeal

Toni Boucher of Wilton

Paul Doyle of Wethersfield

Joan Hartley of Waterbury

John Kissel of Enfield

Leonard Fasano of North Haven

Scott Frantz of Greenwich

Anthony Guglielmo of Stafford

Robert Kane of Watertown

Kevin Kelly of Stratford

Joseph Markley of Southington

John McKinney of Fairfield

Michael McLachlan of Danbury

Andrew Roraback of Goshen

Len Suzio of Meriden

Kevin Witkos of Canton

Jason Welch of Bristol

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Apr 1, 2012

Brilliant article about the Connecticut and the Death Penalty

"We, the political family of the victim, although one step removed, in our righteous indignation, our need for justice — we, strangers but fellow citizens, fellow survivors, equally vulnerable to viciousness and terror, feel — yes, feel — continually connected to the slain. Compared to the survivors' grief, immediate and intense, enduring sometimes crippling — our righteous indignation, our rage at the callous or sadistic murderer may seem mere commentary. Their healing takes priority."

The quote above is taken from a brilliant OP-ED piece by author Robert Blecker found in today's Hartford Courant. The timely piece is in support of Connecticut's Death Penalty and against a recent repeal bill that once again is being foisted upon the people of this State who have made it very clear in poll after poll that we want to keep the death penalty as our capital punishment.

 Most of the coverage in the Courant concerning the death penalty issue has been a mere  parroting of the loudest majority opinion within the Connecticut Legislature: This opinion piece is a deviation of what has become the Courants predictably liberal fare. And to be clear, when I use the word "liberal" I am  not referring the Democratic party, I am speaking of a dangerous steadily growing, permissive criminal -friendly attitude towards dangerous violent offenders via related sentencing policies, in a State that has one of the most abysmal criminal justice systems in the country.

In this article, Blecker makes vivid, emotionally charged points regarding the folly of repealing the only Sentence in this state that would- be murderers and rapists actually fear. Even a Death Penalty in theory-only, clearly has the power to drive our public defenders to great lengths in attempts to avoid their clients possibly receiving the sentence in a Jury trial: .

Like Joshua Komisarjevsky and Stevn Hayes's attorney's who knew that their clients were caught dead to rights escaping a murder scene, all such immediate offers to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison, will disappear from the judicial landscape in Connectucut if the Death penalty is removed forever from our prosecutors toolboxes. On the rare occasions when a set of crimes are so heinous that a Connecticut State prosecutor refuses a guilty plea, intent on pursuing a death penalty conviction, ( and we do so conservatively in this state to begin with) we the public have watched these lawyers go to ridiculous lengths, in zealous mad scrambles to avoid a sentence that they claim is " not a deterrent."

If the death penalty is in fact abolished and this repeal is voted in within the Senate, we are guaranteed a sideshow seat as these same public defenders vociferously pursue trials in which they fight tooth and nail (at the states expense once again) against the new " cruel and unusual punishment ": Life in prison without the chance of parole".

This is what lawyers do. They push the limits of whatever parameters exist within the confines of a given "justice" system. Indeed our court systems have been taken hostage by amoral defense attorneys who believe they are bound by  no limits, bent on "winning" no matter the cost in human suffering.

Do our legislators really believe that if the Death Penalty is taken off the table, the Attorneys representing murderers and  predators of every denomination will then reasonably offer their clients up for a life in prison without the c hance of parole? Minus the leverage of even the most impotent death penalty system,(such as Ct has)  even situations where the evidence of guilt is overt and abundant, these capital murder cases will all proceed to trial. The proverbial " nothing to lose " will be the Mantra of every child rapist and/or murderer, kidnapper/ killer, as they navigate the new punishment -free State of Connecticut court system, with their frothing at the mouth lawyers in tow. Trial's equal  money for lawyers. Do the math.

Our legislators would do well to read this incredibly sensitive and indeed brilliant article below and let it truly penetrate. Although the article is rife with insight and wisdom,  two quotes below I found to be especially poignant. 

"Although brutal murderers may enjoy long lives in prison while the memory of their suffering victim decays, many abolitionists, especially devout Christians, maintain their moral equilibrium through faith that justice will be done in the hereafter. This belief consoles them. The need for justice may especially incline victims' survivors to those religious beliefs — seeking as they do, solace in the face of suffering. It would console me to believe that my loved one's brutal murderer will someday face ultimate justice. Our secular society, however, separates church and state. We, the people, commit ourselves to human justice in this world — here, now — as if there will be no hereafter."

Robert Blecker's article on Connecticut's Dangerous push to abolish the Death Penalty