Senator Kissel: “Criminal Justice Reform Must Be Bipartisan”

November 27, 2007

Says all sides must come together to facilitate change

State Senator John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, today said that he is optimistic that comprehensive changes to the state’s criminal justice system will be made in a bi-partisan manner. He said that the importance of the issue demands that lawmakers look beyond political lines and work together towards change.

“Our number one priority is to enhance the public’s safety. I am encouraged that we can come together to put forth legislation that everyone can support,” said Sen. Kissel who serves as Ranking Member of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee. “The outrage stemming from the events of last summer’s tragedy in Cheshire was felt by each citizen of our state. Dr. Petit sent us a letter today (copy attached) urging us to work together for the greater good. We owe it to the Petit family and the people of Connecticut to do our best to find common ground and workable solutions.”

“As members of the committee questioned the many people testifying, it became apparent that while we may differ on some details we have more in agreement than we might have originally thought,” said Sen. Kissel. “These initial reform proposals are just a first step in what promises to be a lengthy process of creating a state-wide criminal justice system second to none.”

Sen. Kissel said that he is committed to working with the Judiciary Committee Chairmen to ensure that every possible avenue is explored. “There is a lot of common ground here and I think we are headed in the right direction. The Public Hearing today shows that all sides are committed to enacting much needed criminal justice reforms. I am optimistic that we will continue to stay focused on the ultimate goal of reforming our criminal justice system to improve the safety of the residents of Connecticut.”