Key Lawmaker Ties Death Penalty Vote To Repeal Of Early Release Credits – Courant.com

Posted: February 26, 2012 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

By DANIELA ALTIMARI

State Sen. Andrew Roraback, a longtime opponent of the death penalty, said Friday he would not back a repeal bill unless lawmakers also reverse a series of changes to the state’s criminal justice policy.

Roraback’s vote is considered key if capital punishment is to be abolished in Connecticut this year.

The legislature’s judiciary committee announced earlier this week that it intends to raise the issue this session.

In past years, a repeal bill has passed the House by a wide margin but vote counts in the Senate have been much closer.

Roraback, a Republican from Goshen, is running for Congress in the 5th District and has been hammered by opponent Lisa Wilson-Foley for his opposition to capital punishment. Wilson-Foley began running radio ads this week attacking “the liberal politicians and special interests in Hartford trying to eliminate the death penalty” and urging listeners to call Roraback’s office.

“Nothing has changed with respect to my thinking on the death penalty,” Roraback said. “I don’t believe the state should be in the business of extinguishing life but I also this year want to make sure the state isn’t in the business of breaking its promises.

“Last year we passed an early-release bill that was a breach of faith with victims of crime … and their families because it is breaking a promise that was made at the time of sentencing,” Roraback added.

He is referring to a bill approved during the 2011 legislative session that establishes an early-release program for prisoners, including some who were convicted of violent offenses such as rape and arson. Roraback and other members of the Republican caucus who oppose the bill called it bad public policy.

Under the policy, inmates may earn up to five days a month off of their sentence for good behavior and participation in programs that aim to reduce recidivism. The credits can be revoked if prisoners misbehave or fail to comply with the program.

Michael P. Lawlor, Gov.Dannel P. Malloy’s undersecretary for criminal justice issues and the architect of the new policy, said it cannot be repealed retroactively.

But Roraback said he intends to offer an amendment to a death penalty repeal bill that would also repeal the early-release credits.

“We have an opportunity to, in connection with the death penalty vote, to restore integrity to our sentencing system,” he said. “I will vote to repeal the death penalty if this provision is included, Otherwise, I will not.”

via Key Lawmaker Ties Death Penalty Vote To Repeal Of Early Release Credits – Courant.com.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s