CT Parole System Hit
Posted Jul 31, 2007 6:53 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Connecticut’s parole system is under scrutiny as a result of a home invasion and triple murder, allegedly committed by two paroled burglars.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, accused of breaking into the home of a physician and killing his wife and her two daughters. The two men met in a halfway house and were paroled this spring.
Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell has ordered a “top to bottom” review of the criminal justice system to learn how it failed in the case, the New York Times reports. Judge James Bentivegna called Komisarjevsky a “cold, calculating predator” when he sentenced him in 2002 to nine years in prison and six years of parole for a string of burglaries.
But the state Board of Pardons and Paroles never saw that description, according to the Journal Register News Service. The board didn’t receive many of the police reports and judicial sentencing statements it should have reviewed, according to boad chair Robert Farr.
State law requires many kinds of documents to be forwarded to the parole board, state Rep. Michael Lawlor said, but the law wasn’t being followed because of bureaucratic "lethargy or laziness."
Nonviolent offenders are eligible for parole in the state after serving half of their sentence.