Fasano seeks to see advice given Malloy [Rep-Am]

August 27, 2015

Republican American

A top Republican lawmaker is continuing to press Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to reveal the legal advice that supported his 2012 position that banning future executions would not spare the 11 inmates then on death row from being executed.

Senate Minority Leader Leonard A. Fasano, R-North Haven, submitted a request Wednesday to the governor’s office through the state’s open records law to obtain the information that he is seeking.

Lawyers from the governor’s legal office are now reviewing the request to determine how to respond, said Devon Puglia, a Malloy spokesman. If the review turns up pertinent documents, the legal staff will then determine if the state Freedom Information Act exempts any of those records.

At first glance, Puglia said, Fasano appears to be requesting some records relating to confidential communications between Malloy and his staff attorney that the FOI law exempts from disclosure.

Fasano first wrote Malloy last week after the state Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the state could not carry out the executions of the 11 death row inmates because others convicted of the same crimes no longer face the death penalty. He asked the governor to outline the research that supported his often-stated position that abolishing capital punishment prospectively would preserve the death penalty for capital crimes committed before its effective date of April 25, 2012. Fasano followed up Wednesday with his FOI request that seeks copies of all communications related to the assurances that Malloy gave that the 11 inmates on death row would be put to death, including legal advice. The request covered staff attorneys and individuals outside the administration. “I am sure that you will not invoke any attorney client privilege that would impede the release of these documents, because all advice must have supported the guarantees you made in 2012,” Fasano wrote.

Puglia said the records request just underscores how politics is driving Fasano.

“When Senator Fasano deliberately ‘FOI’s’ information that he knows is exempt under the law, then you know this is just yet another partisan political stunt,” he said.

The legislation that Malloy signed in 2012 legislation replaced the death penalty in Connecticut with life imprisonment without the possibility of release.

The measure specified that it did not affect capital felony convictions or capital cases that were pending before its effective date. It also preserved the death penalty for capital crimes committed before that date.

The legislation also anticipated the possibility that the courts might overturn execution orders as a result of the prospective repeal. It provided that death sentences would be commuted to life without the possibility of release.