Dec 27, 2007
And It came in the form of a simple e-mail with just one link, subject line reading "FYI "
"Please Visit'. And so I did.
What I found was a heart-wrenching and inspiring tribute to a friend , from one very special little girl to another, the latter, her earthly life recently stolen by violent crime.
As a recent image of a young and smiling Michaela Petit greeted me upon the opening web page, and my reflex was a deep and abiding heaviness of heart. But as I read on to the young web -master's introduction, my spirit lifted just a bit and I slowly realized that this was one of those times where the children of the world have something to teach their elders.
The young creator of the "Forever Michaela" website, Elizabeth Ollero, shares with us that the website was created, "so that people would not feel only sad" when thinking about her late friend Michaela Petit: Instead she hoped that they might recall and grow to know everything about her that was so special and beautiful. And although Michaela was clearly a pretty girl, this is a beauty of the inside variety we are led to see: A gentle and kind heart, a sensitivity that belied her years and a clear generosity of spirit and self.
Another goal of the website we are told, is to share with the world some of the causes that Michaela cared so deeply about, and in doing so, bring more attention and support to those and other causes through Michaela's kind and charitable example. Many of us have read about Michaela's older sister, Hayley and her fund-raising work on behalf of Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that her mom Jennifer was diagnosed with eight years before her murder.
Yet, not nearly as much has been written about Michaela's own philanthropic endeavors;
At just 11 years of age when she died, she didnt have as much time as her 17 year old counterpart to make this world a better place, but she did an incredible job for the brief time that she graced our world. For the past several years Michaela had become her sister's right hand with her impressive non-profit raising record amounts for Multiple Sclerosis, aptly dubbed "Hayley's hope".
Michaela was due to take over a good portion of the charity, as Hayley was attending Dartmouth in the fall. According to friends and family, she was very enthusiastic about inheriting the project, and had even chosen a name for the inherited venture -"Michaela's Miracle".
For years shed particpated in the annual M.S walks in Plainville, walking a great many miles in order to raise money for MS foundation, clearly important charity to the both the Petit clan and many others in the community stricken with this disease. She had also been involved with various animal charities, a cause that was also close to her heart.
Mentioned on the "Forever" web-site was that one of Michaela's last emails to her circle of friends was all about a new-found animal rescue charity that she cared deeply about. She asked friends to visit the website and use the "click for food option"-- a great way to help the homeless animals without having to spend money which she realized that not everyboy had.
Considering that this young girl was only 11 years old at her passing, this only makes her involvement with multiple good works that much more indicative of a uniquely kind and caring nature.
As I gazed upon the very last page of photos of Michaela, my heart was of course still heavy, knwoing that the world will never know such a uniquely caring and loving young lady.
The senseless and violent deaths of Michaela and her family will always confound and anger me.
But at the same time, today I began to feel something else - a small infusion of hope.
This hope was borne of the knowledge that the legacy of this kind and giving family lives on.
The world will continue to extract good from the evil that robbed this world of Michaela Jennifer and Hayley Petit And through this good, we continue to defeat the very evil that brought this all to bear.
And today these seeds were planted through the love and devotion of one little girl reaching out to the world with her dear friend's memory in tow.
"Be the Change that you wish to see in this world"
Michaela Petit's favorite quote on her Facebook page.
Dec 24, 2007
Dec 23, 2007
Just came across this gem of an article from The Times back in October, on the issue of Parole in Connecticut, as it relates to the Petit crimes, as well as crime in general.
I have to say while I am in wholehearted agreement with the author of this piece, knowing the behind the scenes politics that drive things here in the state of Connecticut I do not hold out much hope for the idea of Parole abolishment anytime in the near future.
And this is where I become discouraged regarding our Judicial system: There is far too much favor swapping and hand greasing that the average citizen will never become privy to, and unfortunately, this often powers important decisions such as if Paroling our criminals has become a liability to people of the Connecticut.
Dec 20, 2007
I have come to respect the Petit's more and more with every passing day. Their spirit of giving and altruism is clearly inspiring, as their legacy of good works is carried forward by so many well intentioned people, from within and outside of the state as well as all over the country. Money from the memorial will be donated to several charities, including The MS foundation, a pet project of Haley and Michaela Petit, whose earthly lives were taken this summer in a home invasion that rocked our state to its very core.
Through events like the "Cheshire lights of hope" and other such memorials held in the family's honor, The people of Cheshire have set about the difficult task of healing, both themselves as well as the sole survivor of this tragedy, Dr William Petit, a beloved member of the community, and I daresay now, the country as well.
The link above provides more details of the coming event.
Dec 19, 2007
I find this comments section to be a consistent source of important Statewide political happenings, as well as intelligent discourse about them.... once you get past all of the bi-partisan bickering. I wish that we could put down our partisan swords here and fulfill the imperitive project on hand; fixing our states criminal judicial crisis; I personally am not concerned whether a Representative is Democrat or Republican, I do look at each members proffesional integrity and I resent an important member of The Judiciary committee using a (rather politically timely- released report about Connecticut's overall low crime rate, to bolster his propaganda that our Judicial system "works pretty well " and that "dramatic change is really not needed."
I'm assuming that Dr William Petit was also not happy with some of the spin tactics and dragging of feet of certain legislators. He has written an email to every member of the Judicial Committee regarding this very same issue, and the response was apparently swift, albeit somewhat generic. You can read a copy of his email as well as the official response from the mcdonald/lawlor camp below.
Bravo Dr Petit! We honor your dedication to this cause and I Am certain that the people of Connecticut appreciate your diligence regarding this important issue, in this, your time of healing.
Dec 16, 2007
If you're like a lot of people you're probably saying to yourself an acquaintance - a neighbor - is it really my place to interfere with the "troubles" of an acquaintance or a neighbor or even a casual friend.?
Simply put and emphatic yes. is the only answer here; seeing as how physical abuse is against the law whether against a child or an adult- it is all of our responsibility morally and legally.
While you might agree with the idea of mandatory reporting of a child being abused you might feel that its another story altogether when it is someones wife or girlfriend especially if the abuse has been ongoing and the abused person clearly hasn't left her abuser . Is it our place to interfere there when clearly this person doesn't want to leave?
Once you read the linked article you will better understand why victims of abuse do not "simply "leave" after the first episode of violence. or often even the second or third. There is a complex cycle that involves the emotional and psychological "breaking down" of the battered person, all part and parcel of why so many women do not flee their abusive partners early on.
A good idea is to give yourself a short course on the" battered woman syndrome" a term coined by Lenore Walker, a pioneer on the machinations of an abusive relationship; Ms Walker has interviewed, counseled studied and queried thousands of battered woman and abusive men, and in doing so has made landmark observations and discoveries about the nature of abusive relationships. She has written a multitude of essays, research papers and books, compiling all of the information that she has gathered and most of her books are very readable for the layperson. I recommend that every woman and teenage girl read about the cycle of violence http://ezinearticles.com/?Lenore-Walkers-Cycle-of-Violence&id=1366375
By Pulling back the curtain on the syndrome that many battered woman become caught up in, and the nearly absolute predictability of the MO the batterer, walker has changed the entire way that partner violence is understood and to a lesser extent, handled within our criminal justice system.
I once read a very apt quote by Voltaire that said "Evil exists, when good men do nothing." As dramatic as it sounds, this is really saying that apathy and complacency regarding other peoples suffering is as bad as causing the suffering. You ALONE can effect a change by educating yourself about the nature of abuse and making the following pledge;
'If I suspect that someone I know is being abused or is in danger of being abused, I will not ignore the situation due to reluctance or fear of getting "involved". I will report the abuse or the potential for abuse to the appropriate authorities and will thus avail myself of my local agencies/authorities and educate myself and my (age appropriate) loved ones about the best methods for safe intervention on behalf of an abused or endangered person.
If you are ready to go a farther with your awareness and involvement regarding abuse, you can also take a personal oath to:
- Always offer non judgemental and compassionate ear to anyone you suspect or know is being abused - Do not ever assume that because the abused person doesnt leave or in the case of dating violence, continues to be involved with her abuser, that she must " be okay with the abuse" or assume that the abuse cant be that bad" This assumption by friends family coworkers and even neighbors has helped ensure that many an abused person continues to be abused, often leading to severe permanent injury and or death.
- When a woman is in the midst of a battered syndrome, on any level, we must understand that there has been a type of brainwashing that has occurred and as such this victim is not going to make sound judgements like a healthy person who has been physically assaulted or threatened. She often cannot be reasoned with and in many instances, will recant testimony she's given to police, the courts or even confidences she shared with a family member or friend.
It is a prototypical scenario to have an abused friend confide to you that she has had her life threatened by a mate or someone she's involved with, or even admitted directly about incident of violence, only later to tell that same friend who is now poised to contact authorities etc., ' oh no I was exaggerating or he was drunk or were in counseling now its better, or he cried and was so sorry...Or the abused person might simply cut off the friendship or contact if it is a family member, regretting that she shared what was happening, sometimes out of fear of reprisal from the abuser.
We Must Learn what to do in these situations - the key to saving lives is taking action
at the earliest possible juncture, and this means when a women who has been threatened, stalked or actually assaulted in any way- including a push a shove- anything and has shared it with you, or you are privy to it or even strongly suspect it!
If it is not possible or safe for you to speak directly with the abused person, you should then confirm that they are under the guidance and protection of a social service/ advocate and/or law enforcement professional who can ascertain how they can ensure the persons fiture safety
While it is no secret that most of our courts clearly need a complete overhaul regarding how they view and deal with predators and those that commit violent crimes, we as a people, on an individual and community level can help this happen by beginning to re-think the entire issue of abuse/violent crime. Start with educating ourselves on matters surrounding individuals that would predate upon us and our loved ones, particularly our most vulnerable women and children.
Violent criminals and predators are out there and they are not going away. Too often, our complacency and unwillingness to think about "unpleasant things" serve as a predator's accomplice.
From serial rapists and murderers, to terrorists of the domestic variety, more often than we realize, these dangerous people live among us. They are not the boogeymen of our childhood nightmares, in fact they often look like us, innocuous and unassuming in appearance, which aids and abets their predatory habits
(ie they are more likely to be trusted. )
A classic example of this is the dateline' television series"To catch a Predator" : Most of those would- be pedophiles caught on tape traveling long distances to meet with children whom they've set up meets with, hoping to seduce them via the internet, are consistently average looking men, usually middle Class to upper middle class people. And as surprising, many were married with children of their own, even the men who were setting up liaisons with underage boys. This show only proves what we have suspected for quite some time; predators are often slick, manipulative and deceptive-all traits that are hallmarks of the sociopath persona, -the worst and most dangerous of the personality disorders, and a common finding in both serial murderer and rapists, as well as Batterers, along with narcissitic personality disorders.
In order to reduce violent crime we first must become aware of what defines violent crime; This will require some self education about all violent crime, including partner and intimate violence, child abuse and other crimes against children, sex crimes, and what is at the core of so many of these--power and control
Lastly, we need to learn the classic Predators Mode of Operating yes there is a "classic predator" He shares a good deal of traits with the common batterer and once you understand what makes them tick, you are at a distinct advantage for recognizing them and avoiding their clutches.
From all of this we will build a zero tolerance for violence within our communities, which will eventually force the hand of our judicial systems. Violent crime is the most serious crime that exists, despite what our current sentencing practices would seem to dictate -Not robbing a bank, not prostitution, nor using or dealing drugs. Violent crime leaves those "lucky" enough to survive fraught with a lifetime of trauma, pain and often shame. Once we truly honor what the victim of violence experiences, it is a natural progression to demand justice for them, this is the very least we can do. Within this kind of shift in our thinking we will begin to re-shape our society's mores and soon enough we will see a decline in violent crime in this country.
As the message becomes that all violence, no matter the relationship between assailant and victim, strangers or spouses will result in a dogged prosecution , conviction and prison sentence, violent crime will become more and more a rarity and the entire landscape of this country will change.
Dec 15, 2007
Connecticut Representative Mike Lawlor (-D East haven) is quoted in the above article saying .. "We do not need dramatic change within Connecticut's' judicial system. "In fact, he goes on to say, it works pretty well" and he cautions against "hasty-- and costly reforms. "
This is the Co-Chair of Connecticut's Judiciary Committee folks! Charged with one of the most important jobs given any Representative of this state:In effect, keeping it's citizens safe from crime, particularly violent crime such as befell the Petit family of Cheshire this past July.
This brutal set of crimes, we have come to discover, was a direct result of Connecticut's long-inefficient judicial system, among which the Parole board, is but one culprit. The facts are thatThe two career criminals that committed the assaults and murders of Jennifer, Haley and Michaela Rose Petit should have;
a) Not been given the many plea deals and accompanying light sentences that they were given for their multitude of felonious crimes committed against the people of Connecticut.
b) never been given early release parole, particularly after the more dangerous of the two offenders (komsarjevsky) had served little more than one third of his original sentence, and the other ( hayes) had served approximately one half-- the latter with multiple violations and write-ups both in prison and halfway house.
And c) once they were so recklessly paroled, the tracking device on Mr Komisarjevsky warranted the more sophisticated gps tracking system by the state, and remianed on his person for an extended time period. His history dictated a life long pattern of thrill seeking night time home invasions, with disconcerting stalking behaviors of his victims, prior to breaking in to thier homes.
The gps device could have served as a clear deterrent to resuming these very dangerous crimes. The day after his plain tracking bracelet WAS removed by the state, Mr Komisarjevsky immediately resumed break ins,this time with Mr hayes in tow, escalating to assault, sexual assault grand larceny and multiple murder.
Nnne of this even begins to address the fact that the Connecticut Parole board had not been in possession of, nor asked for the "prerequisite " sentencing transcripts of either criminals recent sentencing hearings, before making the critical decision to parole these two chronic offenders.
And parole was granted none the less with the offenders in absentia- This reffered to as administrative Parole, is the preffered method of Parole decision in Connecticut. "board decides which prisoners they will release back into our communities albeit rather randomly as it is without benifit of the actual criminal in front of them, and very little of his criminal history for that matter!This lack of essential information sharing,we are now told, has been going on for years purportedly due to unresolved intra-departmental disagreements regarding who is to pick up the copying costs of said records!
Those in the know claim this "oversight" to be classic of many of our Connecticut court's daily Mode of operandi; indifference, laziness and arrogant recklessness.
And while this grave en-masse dereliction of duty doesn't surprise me, a former victim of violent crime and witness to such protocol within our courts, it has surprised and infuriated many voting residents who had wrongly assumed our Judicial system was proficient, if not vigilant, in protecting the public from career criminals like Mr hayes and komisarjevsky.
Mr Lawlors irresponsible words, and moreover, the sentiment that they clearly contain, are decidedly a bad omen for the people of this state. We must let Governor Rell and our legislators know-in no uncertain terms, that this "see no evil, hear no evil" protect the status quo, is no longer acceptable.
How is the already-challenging task of state wide judicial reform to take place when those deigned to oversee this reform are preemptively invalidating the need for such? Simply put, It cant and it wont.
Governor Rell was already in the unenviable position of convincing her Connecticut citizens that her tough words and her special task forces are not merely political analgesic for the masses,thrown together in attempt to assuage the growing fervor over our states recently exposed judicial inefficiencies,
Mr Lawlors words and indeed his posture regarding this crucial issue, are making it difficult to trust that our states commitment to this cause is genuine and complete.
Get out your keyboards your pens and pick up your phones.This issue is a matter of life and death.
Dec 11, 2007
This particular article is about the Judiciary hearings, but there is a constant stream of good intel, not only in the posts but also within the comments sections-(with the exception of an occasional message-board -crazy that is..) Crime Hearings Roundup
Dec 6, 2007
Dec 5, 2007
A great find! The full transcripts of the testimony of day one of the judicial hearings in hartford- and they are seperated by speaker!
This allows you to simply click on whatever organization or individual that you are most interested in hearing and read away. I do suggest that you read as many speakers transcripts as possible in order to get the most accurate picture of where everyone stands.
And remember; Letters and emails can be sent accordingly, to those folks who appear to be a weak link in the pursuit of genuine judicial reform.
As you will see, there are some very diverse opinions (along with underlying agendas) regarding what approach should or should not be taken in Connecticuts pursuit of Judical reform.
I particularly liked the families of homicide victims speaker made a lot of good sense, as I expected.
I am presently working on a "Victims Manifesto" that I would like to submit to this commitee that is entrusted with overseeing the states judicial Reformation.
I will be posting it here as well...
Dec 4, 2007
I warn you, the general consensus within this article is not encouraging, especially if one reads between the lines. When will some of these people, who have been entrusted to review our current judicial crisis, realize that the priority must be public safety- and not money?
The biggest concern with too many legislators and judiciary committee members within these hearings seem to be prison overcrowding and avoiding the need to build even one more prison within the state.
It is this type of thinking that has resulted in our states ineffectual and willy nilly sentencing practices early release Parole adds insult to injury as our Parole board regularly paroled inmates without the inmate present nor his criminal records in tow!
We are a relatively wealthy state and the right to personal safety is just that - -a right, not a privilege.Yet our legislature continues to follow its own agenda and ignore common sense putting its citizens in danger with a 97 percent plea deal resolution for all crime including violent assault sexual assault child abduction and sexual assault and even murder.
I also cannot be emphatic enough that the prospect of a three strikes law is not THE sole ANSWER to our states judicial woes. We have a persistent offender law on the books in Connecticut and it is rarely if ever used. Our prosecutors are deciding what if any prison time a defendant will receive.
Connecticut residents need to understand what it means in actual crimes committed to wind up with just one felony conviction. If they did, they would surely realize that we don't want a cookie-cutter three strikes law, translates into three felony convictions finally equals a serious term incarcerated.
Mostly unknown to the general public, the state of Connecticut already has a modified version of the California three strikes bill. In effect, it gives the prosecutor the discretionary privilege to sentence a three time CONVICTED felony offender with a life term. Be aware however that this is a prosecutorial option that is rarely, if ever used in our courts, rendering it a sentencing law in name only.
And herein lies another big part of the problem; Too many judges in Connecticut courts have somehow become relegated to little more than officiaries, simply giving a perfunctory nod to a predetermined DEAL struck between the prosecutor and the criminals defense attorney, prior to each hearing.
Rarely if ever, do most judges refuse a deal that the prosecutor has made with defendant's lawyer. ("... The State has offered....") And even less often will a judge go completely against the suggestion of the prosecutor for the disposition of that case.
In many cases, the presiding judge does not even read the complete file of a violent offender that is before him for said violent offense. It is the prosecutors who are controlling the dispensation of justice in most of our courts, all too often their motives will lie with conviction rates (no matter how reduced the charge) and docket clearing, not to mention factors such as cronyism within the local legal community, something I will not even begin to address within this post.
The sad reality is this- What takes place in many Connecticut courts on a day to day basis is a farce that in no way resembles the justice that we as law abiding, tax paying citizens expect. Unfortunately most people do not become aware of how poorly our court systems run, until they or someone they love becomes a victim of crime.
With this new found awareness, we cannot continue to stand idly by as serious criminals walk free, day in and day out for violent offenses and even crimes against children.
Approximately 2 percent of all violent crime offenses in our state ever go to trial. The rest are systematically nolled, dismissed outright, plead down, or given something called "Accelerated Rehabilitation" Within the year 1999-2000, I was informed by my court appointed victims advocate that she was aware of only 2 cases that went to trial within the entire domestic violence docket within that court. The others, like my case (which began with 2 violent felonies and 2 class A misdemeanors- was plead down to three two misdemeanors) are given reduced charges and dropped charges within a "plea deal " where the victim has no real say over the end result of his/her case, although her/his broken body and psyche are in essence the very embodiment of that crime.
Even worse than this was the fact that I was told repeatedly-by victims advocates, local police and probation personnel , that my case was one of the better outcomes..
Sure enough, after some research and conducting my own personal court -watch -of -sorts, I discovered that they were indeed correct; Many many violent crime cases and the charges within them, are dropped outright, nolled or given A.R-as so called "first time offenders" by the prosecutor. This can happen for a variety of reasons; ( bad ones all...) If the criminal in question has lawyered up with an attorney whose basically wearing down the prosecutor (and the court) by refusing to plea thereby forcing a trial in effect, And from where I stood as a victim, the prosecutors seemed to dread the prospect of trial- and the accompanying work load- and avoid it at all costs.
This gives a halfway savvy attorney, the ability to in effect blackmail that prosecutor (especially one that is indifferent or unmotivated ) Dozens of continuances (extension of dates for the defendants next hearings that can serve as little more than procrastination for the defense,and sometimes even the state) clog up the court and sooner or later everyone becomes eager to get rid of the case.
No matter how heinous it seemed (and was) at the outset: "the shine comes off the apple" This is an actual quote from an attorney in the greater Bridgeport area, in reference to the back sliding of prosecutorial zeal for my case from the severe assault kidnapp to the 10 month later disposition of it.
And for the record, despite inflicting brain stem damage and severe inner ear damage on me, the man that committed these crimes received zero prison time (a "suspended 3 yr sentence"with probation)
He was not even made to plead guilty to one of the two felonies that the police so carefully charged him with in their warrant. Instead he was offered a plea deal by the state which allowed to plead down to drastically reduced charges that became mere misdemeanors. After all, they told me ... he is a "first time" offender. ( this despite an AR on his record that could not be OPENED/NOR used in court, as well as a conviction for check forgery-( non violent/ "doesn't count" according to prosecutor.)
This same man also had committed another serious offense at the age of 17, and that record was also sealed therefore inadmissible in sentencing, due to juvenile status. The point is that this was decidedly not a "first time offender" he was well known by the local police in town, and yet our lax justice system designated him this, at the time that he very nearly took my life in March of 2000.
A.R. is a program that was created for the "first time" offender. Now this may be technically a first time offender, for remember, as I have shown, he/she could have been arrested various times. But if they were "minor charges" (including assault or robbery) the defendant could have easily had those first charges dismissed or nolled, and therefore no official record exists. This is not a fluke, it is nearly commonplace in many courts, especially the busiest ones with high criminal traffic such as Bridgeport, which serves parts of Fairfield county.
And When a charge does finally stick they can be given a third, or even fourth, "gift" by the state with the offer of ACCELERATED REHABILITATION. The consequence for the convicted of this amounts to a sealed record for one year, and if the criminal in question does not commit another crime within that time period, the record is sealed permanently and in effect nolled. This mean the charges may not ever be used again in the court to their detriment if and when they re-offend.
Are we getting the picture here folks...?
Let's take an example of a criminal who's actually committed three crimes still has not a criminal record to their name-meaning nothing officially exists in their name in the event that they now commit a serious felony. For the sake of argument lets say assault in the 2nd degree again-which remember is a serious injury assault and requires medical documentation for the police to use this charge. Possibly this criminal might, I emphasize might, wind up, with a lowered charge from the crime they actually committed, ie; an assault in the 2nd degree would be nearly automatically be dropped in the court's plea bargain auto pilot system. And voila! The possible worst case scenario for that person, (who committed serious bodily harm to another) is that they will wind up now with an assault in the THIRD on their criminal record!
By the way this charge is a misdemeanor and although technically the prosecutor could give jail time for this charge- they simply don't. If there is not a felony conviction, there is rarely ever prison involved. More than likely, this by now multiple violent offender will be given an anger management or counseling order from the court for a maximum of 6 months. Again there is a 12 month program but it is almost never mandated by the court.
If the prosecutor is tough or he is not friendly with the defense attorney, he might give community service or probation for a year or so. This equates to meeting with a probation officer once a month to check in for 15 minutes or so.
Understand that the criminal in this example of mine has in fact seriously harmed another person two to three times, committed a serious felonious assault the last time- ( remember; this charge generally requires medical documentation illustrating serious injury, such as the head injury that Dr Petit suffered at the hands of komisarjevsky and Hayes, or my TBI w/brain stem damage and severe cochlear inner ear
In an insult to public safety this criminal is now running around Connecticut with a misdemeanor record, which on paper appears at most that they slapped or pushed a person, when in reality they may have nearly killed a person!
And yet, neither you, nor I, nor the police in the town that he next commits a crime in, would ever know this by the official criminal record that they have accrued thus far.
With all of this in mind please note what it actually would take for this same criminal to get an actual felony conviction on their record. They will have to again harm another person quite severely to get charges with a felony assault, and once again, it will undoubtedly become a plea bargained lowered charge of misdemeanor assault. Even if by a fluke that counters the norm, they get a tough prosecutor or judge who says, " oh no, you will plead to this felony this time buddy..." this criminal will still only get this one felony on their record now.
The three strikes proponents suggest that this person gets two more shots at really hurting someone before he receives any serious prison time.
I have not yet addressed the issue of criminals committing multiple felonies within one set of crimes
What is rote practice here, I was told by the prosecutors handling my case, is that out of the two serious felonies my assailant committed against me, they would HAVE TO DROP ONE, as well as both of the additional two class one misdemeanors in a "deal" if we expected him to plead guilty to just one single felony! This was but one of many unofficial unspoken pre-trial/ plea deal rules of engagement between the state and the attorneys. And by playing ball" like this daily they continue to infuse money into this revolving door court system where justice doesn't live anymore.
Do we really want this clearly dangerous person to get two more such "freebies" in effect allowing a pass on two felonious assaults before the court now considers serious prison time?Who would volunteer to be this criminals number one and number two victim ?
As I have just illustrated, the reality is that there would be a handful of victims before this criminal is even given his/her " first strike"! Is this the value that we give our lives and our physical safety in the state of Connecticut?
Of course I recognize that this issue transcends a problem simply within our state. There has been widespread indifference, apathy and denial on a national level that has contributed to this current state of affairs. However, certain states are renown for being progressive and vigilant in their commitment against violent crime, including domestic violence, (one of the leading causes of homicide for women) But sadly and unfortunately, Connecticut has not been one of them.
I propose that we use the tragedy of the Petit family murders as a catalyst for the reformation of a new strong, intelligent judicial system for our State. I cannot think of a better way to honor this fallen family than to create a system that might someday become a blueprint for judicial reform, perhaps even emulated by other States.
It speaks of us as a government and a people, that we learn from tragedies caused by our prior mistakes and indifference. To me, it is inconceivable that we do not.
. Simply put, our courts need an overhaul, and this must be done with an intelligent multi- level approach. It will need to involve many changes, including the re-training and re education of prosecutors advocates lawyers and judges alike regarding the psychology of crime and patterns of criminal behavior. Much of this has been long documented and utilized by the country's intelligence community. And many states are using professional criminologists more and more.
If 9/10ths of our "justice" is taking place behind closed doors in plea deal offers rather than in a courtroom trial setting, then this is where the training and education must be.
Most essential would be knowledge re the kinds of pre-cursor crimes that often lead up to more serious violent and or sexual crime from certain types of criminals. Tragically This kind of education would have served the Connecticut Parole board well, in the handling of Joshua komisarjevsky( co murderer of the Petit women.) It also would have helped the judge at his sentencing hearing.
From reading the sentencing transcripts, one can see that the prosecutor in that case was very aware of the dangerous signposts within komisarjevskys criminal patterns at the time of his arrest and sentencing.It would seem that he was quite responsible and tenacious in his suggestions to the court-judge-regarding his opinions on the danger that he felt komisarjevsky posed to the public. And although I feel strongly considering the type and the multitude of robberies he committed , komisarjevsky should have gotten a longer sentence
In re-creating our justice system we must be develop a built in roadblock to previously tried and true methods used by career criminals and their paid defense attorneys, to manipulate the system to the point where the entire judicial process is held hostage in effect by advantageous manipulative wiles of criminal defense attorneys.
The Petit family murders has brought this huge issue into the light for many citizens of Connecticut. So many people relate to the Petits as a family and as like minded individuals trying to live their lives with responsibility to their neighbors, communities and families.
These were good people, who were in essence slaughtered in their own home while going about their peaceful honest lives.
This was a crime against women and children and humanity. I believe that there was a clear hatred and disdain for what was perceived as affluence or privilege. And The sad and ironic reality was that the Petit's were in fact kind conscientious, generous counter-snobs that cared very much for those on the furthest fringes of society.
This family was targeted in a place where they believed themselves to be safe-a supermarket shopping for their family dinner. We all recognize that this could have been any of us, spotted, stalked and followed home, with evil intent to harm and extort whatever could be taken from us- then to brutally and cruelly get rid of us.
We cannot bring back the Petit girls and their mom, Jennifer, but we most certainly can ensure that something like this is as least less likely to happen in our State ever again.
The men that assaulted and murdered this family had been convicted of almost forty crimes between the two of them. Knowing what you now know about what it actually takes for someone to be convicted of just one felony,- how many free passes our state routinely gives criminals prior to finally winding up with a felony charge then you see how bad off a criminal like komisarjevsky was to have accrued 26 felonious convictions!
We've all read what their sentences were supposed to have been, and yet Komisarjevsky served in fact only a third of the judges ordered sentence. If he or Steven Hayes ,had served their full sentence, sentences which were extremely lenient to begin with, the Petit family murders would not have occurred. Dr Petit and family would be whole and with us. And this crime is not an anomaly as our legislators would have us believe. Its a wonder it didnt happen sooner considering the Parole board practices combined with programs like the early release which Mike Lawlor advocated for. .
PLEASE GET INVOLVED WITH THIS CRUCIAL ISSUE;
Talk about it, bring IT into your lives and the public forum. Deluge your local legislators/ Representatives with letters and/or petitions expressing your concern and the DEMAND For multi-level judicial reform in THE state of Connecticut.
Use your voting power come election time. From our local legislators to our Governor, we must be willing to cross political lines when VOTING as crime and safety are top issues.Check your town or city's Reps position on all bills being voted upon. This can be found on the CGA website look under rollcall for any bill to do with crime. This will show you how every member of the house and the senate voted on each law.
New Haven Independent: Walker Questions Post-Petit Proposals