Op-ed | ‘Crime & the Rule of Law in CT’ (November 2023)

November 2, 2023

Connecticut Democrats claim that crime is down. Apparently, they hope we don’t believe our “lyin’ eyes” or common sense. Their “statistics” are not to be trusted. To show that prosecuted, or even reported crime is down is different than proving that crime is not occurring and impacting every corner of our state.


I recently produced a detailed report on Crime and the Rule of Law in Connecticut for a presentation at a Southington Town Council meeting. Here is an abbreviated version of that report and my assessment of the situation.


Since 2010, legislative Democrats and Governors Malloy and Lamont have advanced a series of progressive policies focused on diminishing criminal prosecution and accountability in our state. Many of these policies also have the effect of undermining law enforcement at all levels. I voted no on all of them.


This impact continues to be felt across Connecticut. The rise in car thefts and juvenile crime is self-evident. A lack of prosecution has emboldened criminals and I fear more violent crimes will become more commonplace as well.


During the Malloy Administration, the following laws were passed:


  • 2011 PA 11-51 Passed “Risk Reduction” credits reducing prison sentences. Violent felons were released from prison with disastrous consequences, including multiple homicides at the hands of criminals who should have still been incarcerated. House: 90-56; Senate: 21-14. Unanimous GOP opposition, numerous GOP amendments defeated on party lines.


  • 2012 PA 12-1 Reduced cases of juvenile offenders transferred to adult court, limiting the prosecution of repeat offenders, expanded traffic stop data to include race & gender. House: 88-53; Senate: 22-12. Unanimous Senate GOP opposition.


  • 2012 PA 12-5 Repealed CT Death Penalty by misrepresenting its prospective nature, allowing the heinous Cheshire home invasion murderers to escape the death penalty. House: 86-62; Senate: 20-16. Unanimous Senate GOP opposition.


  • 2015 PA 15-2 “Second Chance Society” allows the Board of Pardons & Paroles to grant parole without a hearing, expedited pardon process, eliminates mandatory minimums for certain drug possessions. House: 98-46; Senate: 23-13.


  • 2015 PA 15-183 Eliminated automatic transfer of juveniles aged 14 to 17 charged with serious felonies, limiting prosecutions for repeat offenders, compromises law enforcement’s safety by limiting use of restraints. House: 143-1; Senate: Unanimous. I cast the only “no” vote in either chamber.


  • 2018 PA 18-31 Created community-based diversion system & school-based system for juveniles, capped length of juvenile probation to 30 months, eliminated CT Juvenile Training School. House: 125-23; Senate: Unanimous.


During the Lamont Administration, the following laws were passed:


  • 2019 PA 19-20 “An Act Concerning the Trust Act” made us a “Super Sanctuary State” by prohibiting cooperation between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, even for convicted felons, known gang members, those on the terrorist watch-list, or subject to a final deportation order. House: 79-61; Senate: 20-15. I offered numerous amendments which failed along party lines.
  • 2020 PA 20-1 Passed “Police Accountability” bill requiring “implicit bias” training for all officers; establishes unelected Civilian Review Boards; eliminates consent motor vehicle searches; places limits on justified use of deadly physical force by officers; limits certain restraints; creates officers’ duty to intervene and report; eliminates qualified immunity for officers. House: 86-58; Senate: 21-15.


  • 2021 PA 21-32 “Clean Slate” law. Reduces the maximum sentence for misdemeanors from one year to 364 days to shield criminal illegal aliens from deportation. Erases significant, even violent crimes, after 10 years; most misdemeanors erased after seven years. House: 91-56; Senate 23-12. Unanimous GOP opposition. I offered numerous amendments which failed along party lines.


As a point of contrast, I have offered dozens of bills over the last decade to rebuild the rule of law, stop the crime wave, and restore respect for law enforcement. Each of my bill proposals below were blocked by Democrat committee chairs, who control what bills advance through the legislature.


  • Eliminate “Sanctuary Cities” Ensures that local and state government respect and follow federal immigration law.[1]


  • Establish “Castle Doctrine” and “Stand Your Ground Laws” to respect the right of citizens to defend themselves in the instance of a home invasion, robbery, carjacking, violent assault, etc.[2]


  • Restore the Death Penalty as a proper penalty for the most heinous of murders, and an appropriate deterrent for those who would commit such crimes.[3]


  • Eliminate the “Risk Reduction” Credit Program that arbitrarily awards “good time” credits to violent felons, who in some cases were released early and went on to commit violent crimes.[4]


  • Eliminate “Risk Reduction” credits for criminals convicted of a sex crime or crime with a firearm—My attempt to remove some of the most dangerous offenders from program eligibility.[5]


  • Lower the jurisdiction of juvenile courts from age 18 to 16 so that legal adults charged with serious and violent crimes are properly adjudicated in adult courts.[6]


  • Automatic transfer of juveniles charged with larceny involving motor vehicle to adult court if the juvenile has two prior felonies.[7]


  • Repeal “Clean Slate” law because criminal records should not simply disappear and citizens, employers, and landlords have a right to know.[8]


  • Repeal certain provisions of the “Police Accountability” bill to restore law and order and protect officers and municipalities from frivolous lawsuits.[9]


My purpose for sharing such a detailed report is to make it perfectly clear what laws have passed and who voted for and against them. I believe this is critical information that citizens need to make prudent choices regarding their representation.


While political parties aid us in understanding the basic worldview of politicians, membership creates both pressure to conform and safety in numbers when making poor choices. We need to judge our elected officials and candidates based on their individual records and positions and hold them directly accountable.


I will continue standing for the things that make our country great, protecting civil rights and individual freedom, the rule of law and its equal application, and true representative government that respects the power of the people.


[1] 2017 HB 5272/5555; 2019 SB 993; 2021 SB 512 & 2023 SB 778

[2] 2017 HB 6193; 2019 SB 503/169; 2021 SB 362 & 2022 SB 388/780

[3] 2019 SB 494; 2021 SB 322 & 2023 SB 819

[4] 2019 SB 495/170

[5] 2021 SB 515 & 2023 SB 781

[6] 2021 SB 532 & 2023 SB 783

[7] 2021 SB 517 & 2023 SB 782

[8] 2023 SB 779

[9] 2023 SB 827