Friday, April 18, 2014

Lawlor’s Violent Felonious Graduates


The piling-on began following admissions made by Lisa Wilson Foley that a contract between herself and John Rowland, a radio talk show host following his stint in prison, was fraudulent, and recently Mr. Rowland, a burr in the side of Governor Dannel Malloy, announced he had recorded his last show. On the political stump – the governor, like his beau ideal President Barrack Obama, is rarely off the political stump – Mr. Malloy, along with the usual media attack pack, had called upon WTIC to sever its relations with Mr. Rowland.

Even Mr. Malloy’s Undersecretary of Criminal Justice Michael Lawlor contributed his mite, according to a story in a New Haven paper. One of Mr. Rowland’s programs, Mr. Lawlor pointed out, “included talk about guns, and as a convicted felon, Rowland is ineligible to legally own one.”

Sure, sure. But the law – even the new gun law promulgated and supported by his eminence the Undersecretary of Criminal Justice Lawlor – is a mere inconvenience to felons bent on mayhem such as, to cite only one of 21,929 ex-felons, all graduates of Mr. Lawlor’s get-out-of-jail-early Risk Reduction Earned Credit (RREC) program, Frankie “The Razor” Resto.


Following his release from prison, Mr. Resto, one of the loads of felons given early release credits by Mr. Lawlor, procured a gun – illegally – and traveled to an EZMart in Meriden, where he murdered Ibrahim Ghazal, one of the store’s co-owners. Mr. Resto used hollow nosed bullets to assure fatality and shot Mr. Ghazal in the chest after Mr. Ghazal had obliged him by surrendering the cash in his register.

                                         

Mr. Resto, it turns out, was not the only felon awarded get-out-of-jail-early credits from Mr. Lawlor’s Risk Reduction Earned Credits Program, an Orwellian title designed to fool some of the people all of the time. Mr. Lawlor’s program, smuggled past the legislature in an omnibus implementer bill by the former co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, increases rather than reduces risks to the general public.

Although RREC was designed to tailor release credits to remediation programs involving individual prisoners, Mr. Lawlor approved the retroactively distribution of credits to inmates who had not satisfied program requirements. The bulk of credits were disbursed to felons who could not have benefited from Mr. Lawlor’s program. Republicans have urged many times that violent criminals convicted and sentenced for such crimes as rape, assault and arson (see below) should not be able to participate in Mr. Lawlor’s blood soaked program.

Apparently, Mr. Lawlor and his padrone, Mr. Malloy, are willing to write off as collateral damage the murders committed by Mr. Resto, awarded 199 RREC days credits, and Keslyn Mendez, (AKA) Willie Batts, who murdered a store clerk in Manchester after having been awarded 30 days RREC get-out-of-jail-early credits by Mr. Lawlor.

Until recently, the imperious Mr. Lawlor had been deaf to the pleas of his once fellow legislators. Owing to a stiff resolve on his part, nearly all the data surrounding the misnamed Risk Reaction Earned Credits Program was hidden in the weeds. Some of that information has now surfaced. As a result of the efforts of State Senator Joe Markley and former State Senator Len Suzio, Mr. Lawlor, under the pressure of an FOI complaint, has been forced to disgorge some telling data. Both Mr. Suzio and Mr. Markley have demanded that Mr. Lawlor release all the data relevant to his program -- especially information that touches upon recidivism rates. So far, Mr. Lawlor and Mr. Malloy have been able to shape the public discussion concerning the flawed RREC program which, despite its Orwellian title, will increase risks to public safety.

According to an information sheet released by Mr. Suzio, the data thus far released by Mr. Lawlor under pressure of an FOI request indicates:

·         From 9/1/2011 through 3/4/2014, 3,821.6 years of Early Release Credits were handed out to discharged prisoners.
·         More than 50% of the identified offenses are classified as either violent or serious.

A breakdown of crimes and number of offenses by crime category follows:

Arson: 41
Assault: 1,795
Burglary, Larceny, Robbery: 3,846
Child Pornography or Risk of Injury: 414
Drug related: 3,514
Illegal gun activity: 623
Kidnapping: 21
Murder, Homicide, Manslaughter: 129
Sexual Assault: 385
Violation of Protective or Restraining Order: 723
Prostitution: 98

Violation of parole: 4,730 (any prisoner on parole obviously had been convicted of a more serious crime earlier; the file, however, had only the latest offense for which the prisoner was imprisoned, i.e., violation of parole 53a‐32. Therefore the severity of the prisoner's offenses is not apparent in these records).

Other: 4,795 (260 had no "offense" codes, remainder were not assigned crime category)
Several prisoners received more than 6 years Early Release credits.

The newly acquired data, according to Mr. Suzio, applies only to “discharged” prisoners, not “released” prisoner: “The released group represents another 20,836 prisoners for the same time period. Furthermore, the file did not contain data on convicts remaining in prison, about 16,800 as of February 28, 2014. Thus the number of prisoners participating in the Early Release Program has been approximately 58,000 in the first 2.5 years.”

Connecticut Commentary previously has called upon Mr. Malloy to fire Mr. Lawlor.
Post a Comment