Sep 12, 2015

Connecticut's Prospective Death Penalty Repeal a Predictable Farce Plays Leap frog over Due Process

If it didn't happen one way, it would happen another.  When the horrifically untimely "Prospective" Death Penalty Repeal was passed by a slim margin in 2012 by the Connecticut Legislature everybody in the know, knew that the men that were sitting on death row in Connecticut when the repeal was passed, would never be put to death.

As all on-board lawyers were happy to point out, historically every other state where Prospective DP Repeals were passed, the very nature of the prospective language held the door was wide open for defense attorneys to argue (successfully) that if the State decided that the death Penalty was cruel and unusual punishment at a particular juncture, then it only followed reason, that it could not and should not, be imposed retrospectively upon their client because ....well basically,' it just wasn't fair.'  Excuse the sarcastic summation, but this is in fact what their arguments boiled down to.

Mike Lawlor, then influential Connecticut Legislator and Co - chair of the Connecticut Judiciary Committee, largely instigated and co-authored the 2012 Repeal bill as well as the new Capital Punishment law that prevailed in it's stead.

Lawlor and his inseparable but substantially less vociferous compatriot, then State Senator Andrew MacDonald, also co-chair of the Judiciary Committee, concurred with Lawlor  that the death penalty had to go because A) Connecticut was one of the "last New England States" to abolish the Death Penalty - the implication being that we were " archaic" behind the times and therefore politically incorrect. Thus the repeal of the death penalty was a foregone conclusion.

Furthermore we were informed by Lawlor and other high profile anti death penalty activists and  lawyer contrarians such as Norm Pattis et al, in every other State whereby the Death Penalty was repealed "prospectively", the aforementioned actual application of said Sentence wound up being tossed out in the higher courts time and again, thus assuring that not one convicted murderer on death row, were ever executed as a result of the repeal regardless of what was sold to the wavering members of the legislature and the citizens of the State at the time.

This is particularly infuriating when one is familiar with the excessively thorough and fair process which the state invariably paid for both sides of, that preceded the rare imposition of an actual death sentence in the State of Connecticut. The bottom line is that whole Juries comprised of our dedicated citizens carefully weighed mitigating and aggravating factors as charged by Judges and found  twelve men deserving of a death Penalty sentence for what were found to be particularly brutal cruel  pre-meditated murders of innocent human beings.

This was the presiding law at the time of these crimes and these men were each afforded their due process and found wanting. They were given this sentence after tremendous amount of evidence and deliberation.

What just transpired within Connecticut's Supreme Court in effect washed away the need for any of those silly time consuming legal arguments also known as due process, albeit fruitless due process with a predictable end result. In this case it was already smugly predicted by a gaggle of indignant Lawyers, Legislators, Anti- Death penalty activists and the Governor's hand picked yes men, one of whom now sits as a Connecticut Supreme Court Justice.

Of course this judicial farce occurred after the Prospective Death Penalty Repeal Bill was passed; at which point those who naively trusted the proponents and authors of the new Capital Punishment bill, as well as our newly appointed Governor who signed it into law, discovered that this "prospective" business was nothing more than a disingenuous farce, a plastic bone thrown to the reluctant legislators who were on the fence (and would not have voted to pass the bill otherwise)as well as something to soften the blow and quell the loud opposition of our State's law abiding citizens, still reeling from a succession of particularly brutal murders, each crime happening because of the ineptitude, ill placed liberalism,  and plainly put - corruption of State's Judicial system.

 While we're on the subject of Lawlor, Macdonald and Company, am I the only one that sees the impropriety of ex-Senator turned Governor Malloy appointed Supreme Court Justice-- Andrew Macdonald, having a crucial and official role in this decision regarding Prospective Death Penalty sentencing?

Macdonald had considerable clout insofar as the State's original tenacious and insistent repeal of the Death Penalty. Indeed he was part of both the concept of abolishment, which at first was officially presented to the public as a money saving measure for a ballooning State Budget - although prior to this, the people of this state that wanted to keep the death penalty as its capital punishment (which repeated Quinnipiac polls proved were a 60-75 percent majority) were en masse chastised for being a blood thirsty and vengeful people and then as it rolled along, the Repeal gathered the usual fare; that it is archaic, that it is inequitably used as a sentence and the like. Oh yeah and then there's that monetarily wasteful part; due to the obscenely ludicrous automatic appeals process that in essence crippled it's actual application. That's the part that they don't generally mention.

In any event Jurist Macdonald should have indeed recused himself from the entire Supreme Court oversight of this already inappropriately designated issue that had no business being heard within the Sacred confines of our States Highest Court having in effect played political leap frog and making a farce of our State's already corrupt and crony - ridden Criminal/Judicial system