Senate Republicans Seek Parole Board Reforms in Light of Castonguay Parole Missteps

March 25, 2015

Senator Henri Martin (R-Bristol) issued the following statement after the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Parole on Wednesday rescinded its decision to release Gary Castonguay, the man convicted of killing a Plainville police officer Robert Holcomb:

“State officials righted a wrong today. Throughout this ordeal, the Holcomb family has displayed a tremendous amount of strength and perseverance. I commend the people of Plainville and throughout the state for speaking out on behalf of the Holcombs and rallying to support them. Now that this botched decision has been corrected and this vicious killer will remain in prison, we must now review the circumstances which led us to this day. We must take steps to strengthen the system so that what happened to the Holcombs does not happen to other victims’ families in the future. I look forward to leading that effort,” said Sen. Martin.

Senator Martin along with the Senate Republican Caucus is calling for parole reform to ensure that victims are properly notified in all future cases and given the opportunity to be heard. In the coming weeks, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and fellow caucus members will meet with legislative leaders to review multiple reform ideas.

“Along with Senator Martin, I have been in close contact with the family and the issues surrounding the Parole Board’s missteps,” said Sen. Fasano. “I have remained silent out of respect for the process. Now that we have a resolution for this situation, we have to speak out on the problems that clearly exist in Connecticut’s parole system. We all have to come together to identify and rectify the weaknesses that led to such a disturbing decision in this case. Just because this one wrong was righted does not mean we are free to move on and look away. We need to take action.”