Republicans Criticize Early Release Program After 1-Year-Old Stabbed To Death [FoxCT]

September 11, 2014

Fox CT
Senate Republicans are connecting the man accused of stabbing a 1-year-old baby to death with a policy enacted under Gov. Dannel Malloy that reduces prison sentences.

At a news conference Wednesday, State Senators Len Fasano and John McKinney announced that 35-year-old Arthur Hapgood was a recipient of Connecticut’s Risk Reduction Earned Credits, widely known as the early release program. Early release allows prison inmates to earn time off of their sentences in exchange for good behavior and completing rehabilitative programs.

In August, Hapgood was arrested for fatally stabbing Zaniyah Calloway in the stomach at his mother’s Bristol apartment. Police reports detailed that Hapgood was taken out of the apartment naked and had told a someone prior to the incident that he was going to smoke pot.

According to Fasano, Hapgood earned 233 early release credits while in prison on armed robbery and drug charges. Fasano said those credits were earned despite repeated bad behavior by Hapgood, including multiple failed drugs tests and assaulting another inmate. Fasano also said Hapgood assisted two inmates in escaping from a halfway house.

“With a lack of oversight, and a lack of responsibility, this is a conveyor belt for releasing people without regard to their record,” Fasano said.

Gov. Malloy defended his policy on Wednesday. He pointed to the statistical reduction in crime during his administration.

“People are doing more time under my administration then they were the prior administration. They didn’t lead with that, obviously, because they are trying to scare people and they are trying to misuse information,” Malloy said of Republicans.