Thursday, March 20, 2008

Focusing on the important stuff

While some Nutmeggers may feel energy, healthcare, education et al are the "important stuff," our beloved legislature knows better. They're focused on the things that truly matter, such as banning candy in school and apologizing for witchhunts (AP).

I wish we could add back a lever in the voting booth... not a party lever, per se. I just want one lever... "throw them all out!"

Tim White


Anonymous said...

I can't believe they would waste their time and our tax dollars on that.
They sure act fast when they are discussing the 3 strikes law though. I sure hope those legislators who voted against it can sleep comfortably knowing that they may be allowing career criminals out on the streets.
This state needs to remember those who voted against this law at election time.

Anonymous said...

Committee Kills Three-Strikes Bill Prompted By Home Invasion

The Associated Press
5:38 PM EDT, March 19, 2008

A move to sentence violent criminals to life in prison after a third offense hit a snag Wednesday, despite calls for tougher sentencing laws from the family of a woman who was killed along with her two daughters during a home invasion in Cheshire last year.

The legislation died in the Judiciary Committee on a 16-25 vote, likely ending the chances of a mandatory, minimum sentencing bill for dangerous, repeat offenders passing in this session.

Opponents said the revamped three-strikes-and-you're-out proposal was deceiving because it would not automatically require a life sentence for a third violent offense. The bill still gave prosecutors the discretion to decide whether to charge someone under the law.

And committee co-chairman Rep. Michael Lawlor said prosecutors have told lawmakers they would rarely use such a law.

"The bottom line is, this is very misleading," said Lawlor, D-East Haven.

Proponents of three-strikes, mostly minority Republicans and Gov. M. Jodi Rell, are not giving up, and plan to amend other bills with similar language before the session ends in May. But at least one lawmaker acknowledges it will be difficult to pass it this year.

"Things get done when leadership sits in a room with a commitment to hammering something out that everyone can live with on an issue," said Sen. Sam Caligiuri, R-Waterbury. "That's not happening yet. And until that happens, it's going to be an uphill battle."

There were four three-strikes bills proposed this session, including one from Rell. The committee, controlled by majority Democrats, decided to call one up for a vote. Republicans said the bill would have been a helpful tool for prosecutors.

"You would have this hanging over the head of a particularly bad actor our there who has committed dramatically horrific crimes," said Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield.

Kissel said the legislation would help persuade criminals to plead guilty to "some real hard time" rather than face life in prison, he added.

The push for the stronger law stems from the July home invasion in Cheshire, where two paroled burglars are accused of breaking into the home of Dr. William Petit Jr., and killing his wife and two daughters. While the bills under consideration would not have affected the two suspects, members of the Petit family still testified last week in favor of mandatory life sentences for a third violent offense.

"The three strikes bill is about those who have offended society in a violent way three times. They just do not get it," said Dr. Petit's sister, Johanna Petit Chapman.

Connecticut already has a law on the books addressing repeat offenders. During a special session in January, where many Cheshire-related reforms were passed, lawmakers tinkered with the law. They passed a version that removed a requirement that a judge make certain findings before imposing up to a life sentence for third-time offenders. That law takes effect March 1.

Sen. Andrew McDonald, the other committee co-chairman, said lawmakers should wait and see if that works.

"We are trying to fix something that we don't know as yet is broken," said McDonald, D-Stamford.

The bill's defeat drew strong criticism from the chamber's top Republican, House Minority Leader Lawrence J. Cafero Jr., who proposed one of the three-strikes proposals this session.

"The public now knows that the Democratic lawmakers who thwarted the public outcry over this tragedy also refused to heed the pleas of the family who have repeatedly called for mandatory life sentences for dangerous, repeat criminals," said Cafero, R-Norwalk.

Mike Rocci Writes:
This is a very sad day for the Petit Family, Cheshire, Connecticut and all of the proponents of the 3 strikes laws. It's hard to believe that the Judiciary Committee voted against this with Jodi Rell being such a strong supporter of the bill. The heartless liberal criminal kiss ups (D-Connecticut) voted this down even after hearing the tear filled cries of the Petit Family is beyond my comprehension. I'm a somewhat forgiving man but I remind those who favored the criminals in this case that "what comes around goes around." This is not over yet..the Governor and other supporters have their work cut out for them to change this decision. I will pray to God that they succeed.
Michael J Rocci
10 Evelen Court
Cheshire, CT 06410

Anonymous said...

perhaps we can pass laws banning the declawing of cats, since we already have laws that cause the sales of skittles to get students suspended

Ray Dunaway said it best. We'll pass a "Three Spells and your out" law to deal with witchcraft.

Or you knows, maybe Hillary Clinton was lobbying for this