Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Suzio: Democratic Legislature Has No Intention of Reforming Early Release of Violent Felons

Len Suzio is CT's Victim Advocate, a
former state senator from Meriden, and leader in
 the movement to
 end the state's Early Release Program
 for violent felons.

Proposed Repeal of Early Release Program
Many of you have contacted me inquiring about the movement to end or reform Connecticut's scandalous Early Release Program. I have not written to you because I had hopes that our legislators would make a serious effort to repeal or reform this terrible program. But it is apparent that although legislation was proposed to prohibit criminals guilty of violent crimes from being eligible for Early Release the Democratic controlled Legislature has no intention of reforming this tragically flawed program.

What is even more disappointing is that there will be no public hearings where victims and citizens can express their desire to see this terrible law repealed. We knew from the get go that the Democratic leadership would not support the repeal of the law, but we had hoped that through a special legislative process there would be public hearings that would allow the public to put pressure on our lawmakers to end or reform this failed and dangerous law that shows more sympathy for criminals than for the victims of crime and their families.  Unfortunately no Legislator led the effort to petition for public hearings on SB 649, An Act to prohibit criminals guilty of violent felonies from being eligible to get Early Release credits.

We know now that the safety of our citizens is a low priority for our legislators. We are led by a Governor who appears to have more sympathy for our criminals that for their victims. And apparently no leader in the Legislature was willing to make a serious effort to call for public hearings to end this abominable law.

All is not lost - there is still a chance that Early Release could be changed by an amendment to other legislation
If you would like to express your strong support for the repeal of the Early Release law I encourage you to contact by phone or e-mail your state senator and your state representative. If you don't know who they are just e-mail me your name and voting address and I can provide the information to you. There is still a possibility a vote may happen if a legislator introduces an amendment to other legislation. So all hope is not yet lost for this year.

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