Jul 29, 2013

Branford Mant Recieves only Ten Years for Crippling Baseball Bat Assault

Credit: Patch File Photo
When  read this Article in The New Haven Register I was angry, but sadly not surprised.

This sad outcome is the result of simply another  inappropriate" Plea deal" where the perpetrator winds up with far less prison time than the law allows and indeed dictates, for the violent crime (s) he committed.

In this case, a terribly brutal assault  has rendered a man handicapped for life.  The victim is and/was at the time of the assault, an former New Haven Police officer.

The man responsible has served two years since the crime occurred and thus this leaves him with 8 more years to serve in theory;

 However, being more than somewhat familiar with this States " Early release programs" and   time off for ' good behavior" the norm often winds up with an inmates released into halfway houses at about the halfway mark of their actual sentences. This time in the halfway house is technically considered part of their prison sentence despite the fact that the inmate is typically free to come and go to work etc while living in these state paid halfway houses..

When one read about the savagery of the attack and the injuries that this assailant inflicted upon this victim, it is a miracle that this victim survived. In fact this easily could have warranted an attempted murder charge considering half of this poor man's skull was missing as a result of this baseball bat beating.

This makes the fact that the assault one charge was ultimately dropped to a lower charge with a lower corresponding sentence - even more infuriating and unacceptable.  The physical emotional and financial cost to the victim and his family have been  monumental.

Adding insult to injury to the victim and his family is the inordinate amount of time that it has taken to adjudicate this case.

The assault occurred over two years ago in 2011.

Its not as if the case went to trial thus necessitating the infamously time consuming States Individual  Voire dire Jury selection process-  -  This case was "Plea Dealed" which means it's simply been dragging on in the court with continuances i.e. requests for more time by the lawyer and/ or prosecutor which occur at so called " hearings" that typically are rescheduled  4 - 8 weeks apart.

Plea deals for those not familiar are where the charges are dropped to less serious charges in exchange for the defendant's guilty plea albeit to charges crimes that are watered down versions of what they actually committed. Ie This assault one which carried a 20 year possible sentence wound up and assault 2 more than likely.  This is standard operating procedure for Connecticut courts with approximately 97 percent of all crimes thus adjudicated.

The original concept of the plea bargain was that the defendant pleads guilty to what he or she has done and only by doing so takes accountability and is rewarded with a somewhat more lenient sentence.

It has been used and abused by lawyers and even prosecutors as an easy way to insure some kind of conviction ( for the prosecutors record) However the cost of this conviction" is the automatic dropping of charges down in severity, such as this case, which is standard protocol in Connecticut courts with some courts much worse than others.

An assault one becomes and assault two as a result of todays plea deals and if there are other charges against the defendant some of them will simply disappear not because the defendant didn't commit the crime but simply for no other reason than its part of " the deal"

The State of Connecticut winds up with a violent criminal that has a record that doesn't reflect the crimes that he has actually committed, thus the danger he poses to the public at large, is watered down. This is essential when police look at his criminal record if and when he re-offends .

This is a cycle that often leads to more victims in the future,  and the whole plea process begins again. Generally speaking a criminal has to commit a felony at least a gaggle of times before he might actually wind up with a felony conviction. And for each of those freebies, there is a victim.  

Such is the Criminal Justice System in the State of Connecticut; A revolving door of administrative deal making.