Thursday, April 24, 2008

Senate Dems Offer Criminal Relief Package

The State Senate had some late hours last night, debating a criminal justice reform measure that Democrats offered as a "compromise" to the three strikes measure Republicans have been pushing for since the murders in Cheshire last summer.

So what is their idea of a compromise? The original bill introduced by the Senate Democrats would have actually lowered the maximum sentencing for compelling someone to have sex at gunpoint from 40 years to 20 years. Evidently, of the 21 violent crimes mentioned in the original bill, the maximum sentence that could be handed down by a judge was lowered for eight of them.

That's right... the Senate Democrat answer to criminal justice reform in the wake of home invasions, rapes, and murders by parolees, repeat offenders and ex-cons is to make sure they get LIGHTER sentences. Democrats apparently think these people already spend too much time behind bars.

How can any Democrat in the legislature seriously say they are "tough on crime" when they offer lighter sentences for violent offenders?!?

Senate Republicans offered a three strikes amendment, which was defeated by a vote of 19-16. Democrats Joan Hartley, Tom Gaffey and Paul Doyle were the only Democrats to support it.

A final version of the bill which passed would allow a judge to double the penalty for someone convicted of a second violent crime, and triple it up to life in prison for a third offense... better than we have now, but not good enough. There were actually three Senate Democrats who couldn't even bring themselves to support that: Senators Toni Harp of New Haven, Eric Coleman of Bloomfield and Edwin Gomes of Bridgeport.

You would have more luck asking the House and Senate Democrats in Hartford to find a cure for cancer or build a space shuttle than you would in getting them to actually vote against a criminal. It's been excruciating just to get them to come this far almost a year after the triple homicide in Cheshire. Still no three strikes, and no tough mandatory minimum sentencing.

1 comment:

mccommas said...

To many damn lawyers in the legislature.

The question is how many strikes are the voters going to give the Democrats.

That number seems to be indefinite.