What’s Really in Gov. Malloy’s Second Chance 2.0

May 19, 2016

Hartford – Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement in response to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s press statements and releases touting support for his Second Chance Society 2.0 proposed legislation.

“Speaking from the perspective of someone who strongly supports reforming our state’s justice system, I cannot support Gov. Malloy’s Second Chance 2.0 bill this year for a number of reasons,” said Sen. Fasano. “While I do support bail reform for some misdemeanors and even proposed legislation to eliminate bond requirements for non-violent drug offenses, I have serious public safety concerns regarding the governor’s proposed bill. The governor’s insistence on coupling his bail reform proposals with an aggressive ‘raise the age’ initiative that is unproven makes the bill unpalatable, short-sighted and not well thought out.

“Certainly young adults who make immature decisions should get a second chance. But to allow violent assaults, sex crimes and child pornography charges to be reduced or erased is not a direction our state should move towards. Yet that is exactly what Gov. Malloy’s proposal would do.

“The governor’s bill would allow the following crimes, when committed by someone up to age 20, to be erased under ‘youthful offender status’ meaning that the offender would have no criminal record and would not be placed on any offender registry:

  • All strangulation crimes, typically involving domestic violence
  • Sex assault in the second degree, involving assaults on the mentally or physically disabled, incapacitated
  • Sex assault in the third degree, meaning forcing another into sexual contact
  • Sex assault in the third degree with a firearm, using a gun to force another into sexual contact
  • Anyone who profits from forcing people into prostitution
  • Enticing a minor, which is using a computer to lure a minor into sexual activity
  • Several possession of child pornography charges

“I do believe in second chances. I believe that drug use needs to be treated as a public health issue and Connecticut needs to find ways to help people move forward with their lives and leave dangerous habits behind them. I also believe we have to take a closer look at our state’s bail system which poses unique and specific problems especially in our cities. But I cannot support Gov. Malloy’s Second Chance 2.0 proposal this year. I do not believe that a 20 year old who sexually assaults a disabled person, who violates someone at gunpoint, or who lures a 12 year old into sexual activity should be tried as a youthful offender – allowing their record to be wiped clean and their name to never appear on any offender registry. That is a direct threat to public safety.

“I believe we need to give people hope and remove barriers to recovery. But I believe the governor’s bill promotes a policy that is neither sound nor safe.”