Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Suzio and Crime Victims Defend Cruz

Sen. Len Suzio was joined by violent crime victims at a Tuesday, Oct. 16 press conference in front of the Connecticut Department of Correction in Wethersfield to call on Gov. Malloy to suspend the state's new policy which enable violent felons to be released from prison early.

Sen. Suzio also called upon the Malloy Administration to reappoint the state's non-partisan, independent State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz to another term. Cruz has been outspoken against the Malloy Administration's new early release plan, which enables violent felons such as rapists, arsonists, child molesters and animal abusers to become eligible for early prison release under the Risk Reduction Earned Credits program.

"For months, we have been asking the Governor to suspend the Early Release Program as it applies to violent criminals and sexual predators and to order an investigation of the readily apparent failure to adequately protect the public," Sen. Suzio said. "We already know of two murders associated with Early Release criminals. We know of a rape that was reported last week in Vernon. We know of a carjacking of an elderly lady this month in New Britain and we know of the sexual harassment of a 14-year old on a Middletown bus last month by an Early Release convict who had 28 convictions including rape at knifepoint.

"This week, we learned of the shooting of a 16-month old baby in New Haven by an Early Release graduate. How many murders, rapes and shootings of infants must take place before the Governor suspends this program? Enough is enough.

"We also are here to acknowledge the incredible courage and dedication of the State's Victim Advocate, Michelle Cruz. Michelle has shown the light of truth on the disastrous Early Release Program. In so doing, she has demonstrated one of the rare characteristics of a political appointee today: the courage to stand up to the powers-that-be and say what the most powerful politicians in the state don't want to hear. This Program is dangerous and should be suspended immediately. This program is a betrayal of the justice due to the victims of violent crime and their families.

"The Malloy Administration has begun the process to appoint a new State Victim Advocate. They say that Michelle can apply. But we all know that the appointment should be automatic. No other candidate can demonstrate the courage and independence that this important office requires better than Michelle's heroic efforts. You can't put courage on a resume. Michelle's courage is there for all of Connecticut to see and appreciate. It's time for Governor Malloy to show some courage and appoint a truly independent Victim Advocate."

Suzio represents Meriden, Cheshire, Middletown, Middlefield and Rockfall. His petition calling for the suspension of the early release program can be signed online at www.senatorsuzio.com.

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