06 September 2007

House, Senate GOP Call For "Three Strikes" Law

HARTFORD - Senate Republican Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, and House Republican Leader Larry Cafero, R-Norwalk, Thursday unveiled comprehensive reforms for sentencing guidelines in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that found the current laws unconstitutional. Our Republican team offered a clear, workable "Three Strikes" provision that will send career criminals to the can for life.

Democrats were scrambling to keep up. The Senate Democrats were to hold their annual retreat, but when they got word that the Republican team was set to present their reforms, they cancelled their picnic and had a hastily arranged press conference an hour before. All that did was assure the Republican plan got full media attention.

"We are ready to go, we are ahead of the curve," said State Sen... John Kissel, R-Enfield, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. Our goal is attainable to protect public safety."

Republicans have asked for a special session of the Legislature to strengthen persistent offender laws, reclassify burglary of a residence as a violent crime, fix the sate state's parole process and enact a true Three Strikes policy - one that eliminated judicial discretion and requires life imprisonment for a third serious felony."

The Republican leaders cited Tuesday’s state Supreme Court decision, which found part of Connecticut’s current persistent offender law to be unconstitutional, as further evidence that the state’s laws pertaining to career criminals need to change now.

“The Connecticut Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to strike down portions of what was already a deeply flawed persistent felon statute requires immediate response from the legislature. The court provided clear direction on just how to address the portions of the current law that it found unconstitutional. We also need to reform our parole system and we can do both those things in special session this fall,” said Cafero.

The Republican proposal includes:

Enact a Strong Three Strikes Law that eliminates judicial discretion and requires life imprisonment for a third serious felony conviction, keeping career criminals in jail and out of our neighborhoods.

Reclassify Burglary of a Residence (Home Invasion) as a Violent Crime
Force dangerous felons who commit this crime to serve 85% of their jail sentences before applying for parole (under current law, the majority of these criminals are released after serving only half of their sentences).

Impose a mandatory minimum 5-year prison sentence on criminals convicted of burglary in the first or second degree.

Strengthen Connecticut’s Persistent Offender Law by following the state Supreme Court’s recommendation to grant juries the power to determine enhanced sentences on criminals they deem to be dangerous persistent offenders.

Reform the State’s Parole Process

Transfer the Board of Parole from the Dept. of Corrections to the Dept. of Public Safety

Increase membership on the Board of Parole

Require transcripts and other information pertaining to a candidate for parole be provided to Board of Parole members at least three business days prior to the candidate’s hearing

Require released offenders to report to their local police station to be photographed and documented within one week of their release

Require more information on the court record at the time of sentencing

Require Serious Criminals to Wear GPS Tracking Devices on their person at all times as a condition of their release.


Anonymous said...

Why are politicians making this a partisan issue? It's pathetic.

Can't they come together? Did the Republicans go to the Democrats at all behind the scenes and say, "Hey, we think we should do this, are you willing to join us in calling for this?"

I highly doubt that. Just like Chris Healy has been doing all along, they are trying to score political points over this issue.

Judy Aron said...

Oh anonymous grow up - if the Democrats cared about the issue they would have done something about it with their "super majority".
Unfortunately they are too busy with global warming and other idiocy that they never get anything meaningful accomplished.
Just because the Republicans have some original thoughts and actually move to do something about them is no cause to whine about "partisanship".

Judy Aron said...

Oh by the way - that's called Leadership.