Sen. Gordon, Sen. Sampson Statement on Senate Reappointment of Carleton Giles to Board of Pardons and Paroles

April 12, 2023

State Sen. Jeff Gordon (R-Woodstock) and State Sen. Rob Sampson (R-Wolcott), member of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, today opposed the Senate’s reappointment of Carleton Giles to the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles. Giles previously served as the board’s chairman and was removed from this leadership position by Governor Lamont days ago, amidst the dramatic spike in sentence commutations of violent offenders—including murderers.


In 2022, the unelected board commuted a record 71 sentences under Giles’s leadership. The board commuted no more than three sentences in the years prior, excluding 2016. In March, Senate Republicans stood with surviving families at the Capitol to sound the alarm on this flawed commutation process and have continued their call for legislative oversight.


Senator Gordon said, “I stand with all victims and surviving families in my opposition today. The record number of commutations in 2022 were not about misdemeanors, or ‘catch-up’ from the halt precipitated by a global pandemic. In fact, a disproportionate number include murderers, and this fact is unacceptable. The Governor, himself, acknowledged how egregiously this process has been managed by removing the now former chairman of his leadership position, and agreeing with Senate Republicans that a pause is needed. The legislature, which is the people’s voice, must weigh in on this dire matter.”


Senator Sampson said, “In the name of victims and surviving families, I could not support the reappointment of an individual who has led the Board of Pardons and Paroles in such a radical direction. Moreover, this is an unelected body that should not be entrusted with such matters of public safety. For too long, legislative Democrats have stacked our state government with unelected bureaucrats who are not answerable to the people. Here is a prime example. Behind closed doors, it shaved substantial blocks of time off sentences of convicted murderers. How is this justice for the families that have lost loved ones?


“Connecticut Democrats have persistently undermined the rule of law for the past decade by enacting laws that favor criminals. Prematurely releasing violent offenders flies in the face of the rule of law. What’s happened here is that Democrats, by way of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, are enacting their far-left view of ‘social justice’ to the detriment of victims, surviving families, and law-abiding citizens.”