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February 26, 2012

Notable example of how death debate impacts other sentencing reforms

The Connecticut legislature is again gearing up to debate potential repeal of the state's death penalty, and this new local article provides a notable example of how capital conversations can readily distort consideration of other distinct sentencing reform issues.  The piece is headlined "Key Lawmaker Ties Death Penalty Vote To Repeal Of Early-Release Credits," and here are excerpts:

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.

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....

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."

Roraback said his congressional aspirations and Wilson-Foley's criticism have nothing to do with his desire to link his vote on the death penalty with his drive to repeal the criminal policy changes....

The repeal bill's fate in the Senate has always been tumultuous. In 2009, it passed the chamber after several longtime opponents, among them Democratic Sens. Gary LeBeau and Edith Prague, changed their vote. But the measure was vetoed by Gov.M. Jodi Rell.

In 2011, death penalty opponents thought they would prevail, thanks to the election of Malloy, a capital punishment foe. But the issue never came up for a vote after Prague and Sen. Andrew Maynard announced their opposition to the repeal bill. Both lawmakers cited the brutal home invasion in Cheshire and the quiet persuasion Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor, as reasons for their reversal.

February 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

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hmm

"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."

What a lieing sack of shit!

The ONLY reason that early release bill was passed was calif was looking down the barrel of a gun held by both the federal courts and the U.S. SUPERME COURT that was fixing to order the AUTOMATIC IMMEDIATE relase of upward of 1/2 the inmates in your joke of a prison sytem.

THAT was the ONLY reason it was passed. Right along with the illegal order to move 1,000's into local and county jails!

Posted by: rodsmith | Feb 26, 2012 3:48:39 PM

By sorted means do abolitionists thwart the centuries-old will of the majority.
In Canada, the miscreants suborn a false consensus by prevarication despite all evidence, e.g.

“"The death penalty debate has been closed in Canada for decades. Why are the Conservatives reopening the whole debate?" the Opposition leader said. She said Canadians were generally against capital punishment.” 2-1-12 @canada.com

According to a recent study from Canada, found at http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/2012.02.08_Death_CAN.pdf,
* * * 71% say the death penalty is "always appropriate" or "sometimes appropriate".* * *

[Unfortunately for this democracy, the will of the majority has not prevailed in said issue since 1976.]

Posted by: Adamakis | Feb 26, 2012 10:45:03 PM

Here's "how death debate impacts":

Te boyfriend of the mother of a 3-year-old little Canadian girl would be eligible to be executed, were the will of the majority to triumph.

|| Winipeg girl's body covered in bruises, human bite marks ||

"Jason Allen Kines, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated sexual assault for his alleged role in the August 2006 slaying of his girlfriend's daughter, Venecia Audy…
Crown attorney Donovan Dvorak told jurors the evidence will show Venecia suffered a multitude of horrific injuries…They include a fractured skull,
lacerated liver,
broken ribs,
a spinal injury,
numerous bruises throughout her body and several human bite marks,
including a "skin-breaking" bite just above her vagina, Dvorak said in his opening statement. The child was also undersized, weighing just 27 pounds…

"Family members of the girl told CBC News that Venecia Audy was a normal, happy girl who loved playing with her cousins, trying to join in with the older ones at their games."

Melissa Audy called 911 and claimed her daughter was having trouble breathing…Dvorak said she likely had been dead for several hours before the mother actually picked up the phone….The Crown also plans to call evidence showing Kines' teeth match bite marks found on the victim."

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Winnipeg+girl+body+covered+bruises+human+bite+marks/6171153/story.html

Posted by: Adamakis | Feb 26, 2012 10:49:20 PM

Rod,

Umm, this story is out of Conneticutt, not California. To the best of my knowledge Conneticutt is not facing federal court orders to reduce its prison population.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Feb 26, 2012 11:15:26 PM

ahh well got me on that one. But doesnt' chance the fact he's a lieing politician. Sorry these days absent REAL EVIDENCE to the contrary all politicians are considered per sai liers till proven innocent!

Posted by: rodsmith | Feb 27, 2012 2:23:36 AM

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