No Three Strikes in Connecticut


Connecticut prisons are already filled to way beyond capacity. The governor, in response to a horrific home invasion, just revoked parole for violent offenders, something which will just make them even more crowded.

Unlike California, prison officials and the guards union are not working in concert. The officials say everything is just fine while the guards say the overcrowding creates a powder keg environment.

Worse, in response to the Cheshire home invasion torture murders by two parolees, some want a Three Strikes law like California has. But that law has imprisoned people for decades when all their strikes were non-violent. Plus, the judge has absolutely no leeway in sentencing.

Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes
, a grassroots organization started by the families and friends of the incarcerated, has 150 case histories showing the grotesque unfairness of the law. For example, Rene Landa had two priors for burglary. He then stole a spare tire, and this became his third strike. He’s now doing 27 years to life – and must do the full 27 years before being considered for parole.

Connecticut: please don’t pass a law like this. It solves nothing, is hideously unjust, and comes down hardest on people of color (as there are more of them in prisons.) If such a law is to be passed then a) the judge must have discretion to override the guidelines. 2) All the strikes should be violent felonies only. 3) No sliders. A slider is a crime that could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Rene Landa should have been charged with a misdemeanor for stealing that tire, and not with a felony.

The alleged humans who committed the Cheshire murders should never be allowed out of prison. But that doesn’t mean that new laws should be passed in reaction to their crimes that condemns those whose crimes were not violent to decades in prison.